Data refers to a set of observations or measurements obtained for research purposes. Typically, quantitative or qualitative analysis is carried out on them.

Data are distinct pieces of information, usually formatted in a special way. In database management systems, data files are the files that store the database information.

Research data is data that is collected, observed, or created, for purposes of analysis to produce original research results. In the discipline of Biology, data generally means research data.

Source: Boston University