Data expressed in such a form that they can be processed by computers
Introduction to the notion
The Grand Robert dictionary, in the second meaning of “data” (IT specialty): “Conventional representation of a piece of information (fact, notion, processing order) in a form (analogical or digital) enabling it to be processed automatically”.
Whereas the term “data” only evokes information technology today, it is useful to keep the distinction between data and software data. The latter is always second and emerges, after all, as a representation of the former. In practice, the connection between the two must be always kept otherwise the meaning is lost. For example, the value stored in an information system becomes unusable if it is no longer linked to the “sensor” that captured it (and to the moment, place, person or operation; in short, to the context in which the fact was produced and of which the datum is a trace).