Intro to Data

In this section with introduce you to data, what is data, why is it important & where to store your data.

Data is the new oil - its value to you or your organization is not something to be underestimated. The big five tech companies, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google & Microsoft know this better than anyone. They collect vast amounts of data to help them better understand their customers.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  1. What is data?

  2. What is a database?

  3. Differences between spreadsheets and databases

What is data?

Data is a collection of facts such as numbers, words, measurements, observations or just a description of things. For example, a list of stock prices, medical records such as patients ages & heights & so on is all data.

Data is most commonly represented in a table format - like an Excel spreadsheet. But data is more commonly stored inside a database.

What is a database?

A database is exactly like a collection of spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet will have some data inside of it. For example Exchanges, Stock Prices, Tickers, User data etc.

The individual spreadsheets are called "Tables". This is because they look exactly like tables with a row of headings & values ("fields") in each of the columns.

There are a variety of tools that you can use to look at your data tables in a spreadsheet view.

Differences between spreadsheets and databases

Even though your data tables are like a spreadsheet, they are not actually spreadsheets. Databases do a lot more than spreadsheets. Let's compare spreadsheets & databases.

Whilst in a spreadsheet you can store data in lists & organize numbers, databases do a lot more.

Store data

Store data

Organize numbers

Organize numbers

Connect to other types of data

Create relationships between data types

Store unlimited data volumes

Manage users data access

Make data storage secure & resilient

All software applications should run using a database in the backend. Dittofi has designed an interface that allows anyone to build an app on top of a professional database without having to write code.

Ditto tip: the database that Dittofi uses is called PostgreSQL. This is one of the most commonly used open source databases in the world. It is used by enterprise developers at large organizations to manage securely protect & manage sensitive client data, for example banking data, medical records, supply chain etc.


Next we are going to take a look at another fundamental concept in app development, this is the concept of an Application Programing Interface or API.

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