Binary Data

What Does Binary Data Mean?

Binary data is a type of data that is represented or displayed in the binary numeral system. Binary data is the only category of data that can be directly understood and executed by a computer. It is numerically represented by a combination of zeros and ones.


Techopedia Explains Binary Data

Binary data is considered the native data/language of a computer and it interacts with the lowest abstraction layer of its hardware. This type of data is produced whenever a process is performed on a computer. The application requesting the process sends instructions in a high-level language that is ultimately converted into binary data to be executed or sent to the processor. All processes, regardless of their type, are converted into binary form before execution.

Most binary data can only be read by a computer, not a human.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.