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Computing Academy GCSE Computer Science

Thinking About Data What

Thinking About Data What is a Database ’25’, ‘Sheffield’ and ‘Volkswagen’ are pieces of data, but on their own lack meaning and organisation. Does ‘25’ represent age? house number? miles? We need to organise this data so that we can understand it; then it can become useful. Key Point A database is a persistent store of related data that is organised in such a way as to make it useful. 129

Databases are not temporary deposits of information they are persistent or permanent collections; as such they are stored in computer systems on persistent or permanent storage (HDDs or SSDs) rather than volatile memory. Databases contain related data; all the information about one person or one thing, for example, a company might have an ‘employees’ database which contains all the related data about employees such as name, age, address etc. Task For each of the organisations listed below, list the data that they would need to collect, store, organise and search through. • the police • utility companies • hospitals • supermarkets • banks A hospital deals with thousands of patients each day and it’s important that they have lots of information about each person they treat in order to provide the best possible care. Here is some information a hospital may collect about a patient. 325434 Asthma 100813 020688 Chandos Steven Hardman Earp Does all this make sense? Can you understand what this data means? 130

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