Data is distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way. Data can exist in a variety of forms — as numbers or text on pieces of paper, as bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, or as facts stored in a person's mind. Since the mid-1900s, people have used the word data to mean computer information that is transmitted or stored. Strictly speaking, data is the plural of datum, a single piece of information. In practice, however, people use data as both the singular and plural form of the word, and as a mass noun.
- Definition - What is the Meaning of Data? Webopedia