What Is Data Representation?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 2, 2020 9:07:09 PM ET

Data representation refers to the internal method used to represent various types of data stored on a computer. Computers use different types of numeric codes to represent various forms of data, such as text, number, graphics and sound.

All information that is stored on a computer is represented in a sequence of zeros and ones. The computer interprets different sequences of these numbers as different types of data. Computer codes are based upon the binary number system (a base-two system) as opposed to a more common decimal system. Computer memory is stored as bits (0 or 1), bytes (8 bits), words (2,4 or 8 bits), or byte addressable (each byte has its own address).