The function of a computer is to store input data and process it for an output, which we call information. Input data itself is usually unrecognizable to the user, and so the job of the computer is to process this data (creates understandable information such as graphs and charts — used mostly for the “end user” or yourself) or compile it into basic language (used to create unreadable files that can be stored or read by the machine itself — used mostly in programming).
Then what is “data“? There’s more than one type of data. You have data, and then you have raw data. Raw data can be understood as anything unprocessed — so the results of a computerized test that hasn’t been collected and sorted would be raw data. Field data would be data you can observe in the wild environment but need to record. Experimental data is probably the data you’re most used to from science class. It is testable and measurable because that is how it is designed. Data can then be broken into a few groups, but the two biggest groups seem to be entities and their values. In this article, I’m going to focus on entity-relationship models. In this particular model, an entity isn’t something an English major may identify as a concrete noun, though that’s something we’d love to do. An entity is something that is opposed to a value of an entity (which makes
data structuring a pain sometimes). “Philosophy” is an entity, but if it is a “philosophical” “philosophy,” “philosophical” is the attribute of that which is “philosophy” like as to what Aristotle says: an entity is a thing that is in the state of being. Yet not in the literal sense. An entity can be many things, which is both in the abstract and concrete and even an event in time. The difference resides in the structural difference of the model. An entity is that which is not used to describe another entity.
In this model, we see that a Creep is an entity with the attributes: CreepName, HitPoints, Mana, and Attack. It holds two branching relationships: RanInto and IsType. RanInto is connected to Character. This identifies the event when a character runs into Creep. Character also has many attributes that are unique to itself. Character then is connected to Account, which has different attributes specific to an Account and not Character or Creep.
The Entity Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data — Dr. Peter Pin-Shan Chen