Digital Data

What Does Digital Data Mean?

Digital data is data that represents other forms of data using specific machine language systems that can be interpreted by various technologies. The most fundamental of these systems is a binary system, which simply stores complex audio, video or text information in a series of binary characters, traditionally ones and zeros, or "on" and "off" values.


One of the biggest strengths of digital data is that all sorts of very complex analog input can be represented with the binary system. Along with smaller microprocessors and larger data storage centers, this model of information capture has helped parties like businesses and government agencies to explore new frontiers of data collection and to represent more impressive simulations through a digital interface.

Techopedia Explains Digital Data

From the earliest primitive digital data designs to new, highly sophisticated and massive volumes of binary data, digital data seeks to capture elements of the physical world and simulate them for technological use. This is done in many different ways, but with specific techniques for capturing various real-world events and converting them into digital form.

One simple example is the conversion of a physical scene to a digital image. In this way, new digital data is somewhat similar to older data systems that converted a physical view or scene to chemical film. One of the major differences is that digital data records visual information into a bitmap, or pixelated map, that stores a particular color property for each bit on a precise and sophisticated grid. By using this straightforward essential system of data transfer, the digital image was created. Similar techniques are used to record audio streams in a digital form.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…