1.2.1 Data

            It generally argued that data simply exists and has no significance beyond its existence. It does not have meaning of itself and can exist in any form; usable or not. Thierauf (1999) has defined data as “Unstructured facts and figures that have the least impact on the typical manager".

            Data is usually represented in alphanumeric form derived from observation, experiment, or calculation. Sometimes data is represented as a set of discrete facts about an event or a process. In this raw form data have little use by themselves. Therefore, it has to be converted into information.

Data can be of two types: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data can be counted or expressed numerically. Quantitative data can be represented visually in graphs, histograms, tables and charts. Whereas qualitative data cannot measure as it relates to the attributes, characteristics, properties, etc., of a thing or phenomenon. Therefore, quantitative data defines whereas qualitative data describes.