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Data is raw facts or figures.

Officially, it has no true meaning on its own.
As soon as it has some context to it, it means something.



Logical or Boolean
Data stored in Boolean can only be one of two versions of the
available data
Its like a light bulb its on or of
True or False

Yes or No

1 or 0

M or F

Alphanumeric is data which is formed up of letters, numbers
and symbols
This data type is also known as string or text



Alphanumeric is used to hold telephone numbers

In a computer telephone numbers are held in text
This is because telephone numbers contain a leading 0
and spaces

A real number is one that has 1 decimal place


Integer numbers are whole numbers no bits no decimals
no space
53 -32 389734

Data can be stored in many diferent forms
In the UK we write dates in the form of DD/MM/YYYY
In the US, they write dates in the form of MM/DD/YYYY


Other types of data

Currency Software will automatically add or $ to data and
include decimal places.
Images/Sound Bites/Video Clips Some databases will allow an
images, sound and video clips to be stored.
photo of a criminal and their fingerprints on a crime database.

Key terms of a data base

On its own, 120515 means nothing its just a piece of data

You need to add format/structure and context to data for it to
make sense this gives you meaning.
For example:
- 130515 = data
- 13/05/15 = data with format/ structure which now tells us
this is a date
- 13/05/15 = this is the date of the ICT exam this year
If we know what data means we have information.

Data + Meaning = information

If we collected all these fields together about a person, we

would have a pretty good record of what someone looks like.
Height = Real
Estimate age = Integer
Hair colour = Alphanumeric
Eye colour = Alphanumeric
Gender = Boolean

The information school stores about me is kept in a record as

part of a database.
Each piece of information they keep about me is stored in a
Two examples of fields used by school to store my information
are addresses and educational grades/ marks.

A key field is a piece of data in the data base that is unique to a particular
For example, in a file of all the children in a school, a record would be all the data
about a particular pupil. The key field would be the pupil number he or she gets
allocated when he or she joins the school and each student gets a unique
They are important as they help to identify each student so they are unique from
everyone else.
Flat file databases are limited of use and are only suitable for very simple
An advantage is they are very easy to make as they only have one table
A disadvantage is that they can only be used for short and very simple
In a relational database, we do not store all the data in a single file or able.
Instead the data Is stored in several tables.
An advantage is that they can store several tables.
However they are slightly more complicated to use than flat file databases


Two fields in Car Company would be the model and the make of the car.
The key field would be the registration number.
This is because the registration number is unique to every car.
There are 28 records in the table.

A key field is a unique piece of data also known

as a primary key.
A flat file database consists of only one table in a
A relational database consists of more than one
table in one file.

Practice databases

Firstly you need to open Microsoft access. After this make sure
to delete the blank database. Go across to external data on the
top bar and if its a CSV file, click on text file. You then press
browse and import the file you need. After this you need to
make sure on the bar to the left, the database title doesnt
have an error next it. If this has occurred you will need to start
again. After this you will have a blank and new database you
can work from.