Data systems convert raw data into valuable information for a wide range of applications and industries. They encompass all technologies that are involved in collecting data, processing it, storing it, and transmitting it. Hardware, software, switches storage devices, as well as interconnection devices are all part of data systems. Data systems also includes middleware software, which allows disparate operating and administrative systems to communicate with each and each.

The Pandemic-Ready Data Modernization Initiative of the CDC, for example, seeks to improve the system of data within state and local departments of health, allowing them to better respond to public health emergencies like COVID-19. This effort is a key part of President Biden’s plan to prepare the nation for a new pandemic. Colleges are crucial to this effort, as they play an essential role in developing and testing fundamental data system components.

A data system is basically any collection of symbols or operations that manipulate symbols. One example is the analysis of human speech at the phoneme level, or an Incan artifact called the khipu. Another is a saved image as pixels.

Spacecrafts in space produce continuous flow of information that needs to be processed, stored and sent back to Earth. The onboard data handling system is essentially a computer but not the kind that we buy off the shelf that we use on our desktops. Spacecraft onboard data systems have been specifically designed and constructed to meet the unique requirements of space. Space radiation can cause irreparable damage to microprocessors that are not protected. The onboard data handling systems have to handle telecommands that are sent to the spacecraft for control purposes and gather housekeeping telemetry, that is required to downlink to Earth.