Data, sources and usage.

What are Data?

Data are unorganized facts, characters or figures that can be well organized to give information.

For example, if you are given alphabets like o, l, g, r, i, a to form a name out of them, those alphabets become data and the name you forms becomes information. Data is the plural form of datum.

Basic types of data

The data listed below are normally used in computer programming language.

  • Integers (e.g, -1,-3,1,2,3,4 etc. )
  • Double (e.g, 10.11,20.22,30.33 etc)
  • Characters (e.g, a, b, 4 etc)
  • Float (e.g, 1.275,1.456)
  • Short (e.g, 0,-32,-43)
  • Long (e.g 34567894647,234567891)
  • Date (e.g, 11/30/2019)
  • String (e.g, 1234,abcd)
  • Boolean (e.g, True or False)
  • Enumeration (e.g, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc.) etc.

Sources of data and information

Source of data or information refers to where data or information can be obtained.

There are two main types of data and information sources, which are Primary sources and Secondary sources. But at this level (Basic 6) we are looking at all of them combined.

Ask pupils to mention where they get news from which will lead to the identification of sources of data and information.

Examples of sources of data and information

  1. Internet
  2. Books
  3. Journals
  4. Video and audio recording
  5. Newspapers
  6. Survey
  7. Photographs
  8. Articles
  9. Reports
  10. Questionnaires (questions and answers) etc.

All the items listed above are examples of sources of data and information but the most popular one these days is the internet. It helps us to get information from all over the world through the online news portals, social media apps and emails.

Sending and receiving information

Information can be shared between technological tools like computers and mobile phones. To share information between mobile phones, both the receiver and the sender (or all the mobile phones involved in the file sharing ) must be connected through one of the many file sharing technologies. Some of the most popular phone applications for sending and receiving information or data are Bluetooth, Infrared, Xender, etc. Mobile phones can also be used to send and receive information through phone call, email, social media apps and SMS(Short Message Service).

Computers also use Bluetooth, infrared and other file sharing technologies to send and receive information but most computer users prefer using cables (e.g USB cable) because they are easy to connect.

We also receive information from radio stations and newspapers but it is difficult to send information to these sources of information especially the newspapers, so sometimes we receive information from these sources but unable to send to them.

Demonstrate basic manipulations on sample data

Basic manipulations on data is usually done in a matrix or table. A matrix is simply a table with rows and columns into which data can be put and manipulated. It is usually done in Excel, Word or PowerPoint.

Teacher’s tip: To treat this topic, you need a computer with Microsoft Excel installed on it. To understand this topic better as a teacher before the lesson, watch the short video below.

short video on data manipulations

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