According to the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of current English, data is information prepared for and operates on a computer programme.
Also, Ani, 2011 in her mimeograph on data processing, defines data as a collection of unprocessed items which on their own do not convey any meaning. Suffice it to say that data can be preserved in the computer as well as in other system.
The preservation of data is as old as man himself. In the earlier times, men were capable of storing information in their brains and passing them on from mouth to mouth. But the more authentic ones were data inscribed on stone tablets, on paper scrolls and even on walls, so that generations later can still make reference to them if properly preserved. However, there were limitations on how far one could rely on these methods of preserving data. As time progressed, the advent of various mechanisms for preserving data were developed.
In 2012, Charles Babbage, English, Mathematician, invented a device called the punch-card which was designed to calculated and print mathematical tables. This innovation can equally be used as a memory or storage unit that can store data in the form of holes punched in cards.
However, the effectiveness of this machine was limited by slowness and mechanical operating difficulties. These restrictions were overcome by the next development in data preservation history-the invention of electronic computer.
In 2010, the first types of computer called UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer) was delivered to a business enterprise. They were designed to handle vas quantities of data typical of business operations. This new method of increased speed, output and preservation, over the years, files and cabinets have been used to preserve data too.