Raw data

Raw data is a term for unprocessed data, it is also known as primary data.

It is a relative term (see data). Raw data can be input to a computer program or used in manual analysis procedures such as gathering statistics from a survey.

It can refer to the binary data on electronic storage devices such as hard disk drives (also referred to as low-level data).

In computing it may have the following attributes: possibly containing errors, not validated; in several different (colloquial) formats; uncoded or unformatted; and suspect, requiring confirmation or citation.

For example, a data input sheet might contain dates as raw data in many forms: "31st January 1999", "31/01/1999", "31/1/99", "31 Jan", or "today". Once captured, this raw data may be processed and stored as a single format, perhaps a Julian date, so as to be easier for computers and humans to interpret during later processing.

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