What is data?
Data is a collection of facts. It consists of individual values of qualitative or quantitative variables collected through observation. Data often comes unstructured and unorganized. By itself, data is meaningless – it must be organized and interpreted by a human or a machine.
In machine learning, data is usually given as input to the model. An example of data might be the stock prices on different days or channels viewed by people at different daily hours.
Why is it important?
Data is the gold of the 21st century. Every decision, every campaign, and strategy is based on data. Without it, we would not be able to learn from the past and make correct decisions in the future.
Data allows businesses to optimize their processes and discover insights about their customers, competitors, and the market as a whole.
In machine learning, data is the backbone of everything. It is impossible to train a machine learning model without a sufficient amount of data. However, when the data is present, it gives enormous advantages to those who have it.