The German term "Datenbasis" (un- or processed data resource) could be simply translated into database, as Langenscheidt shows Link to Langenscheidt's Translation. But imagine, when you write about something pretty scientific, you would perhaps gather data which needs not to be in digital form, but could be results of measurements done manually and written down on paper.

So what is the term for a collection of such data that has not been deposited in a database of a computerized database management system such as Oracle, MySQL etc?

  • 2
    I think you just want data. Or maybe a study?
    – jejorda2
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 13:55
  • 3
    Or maybe dataset.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 14:08
  • Well, thank you all for your suggestions. I am still unsure. It seems the english language does not distinguish the word data in other synonyms than records, which can be either from database or manually written down data. In the german language this is somehow in a peculiar and subtle way possible due to composite words on the fly. It's a pity, that we humans have such a few words to describe the quality of information, respectively giving a hint of its origin in an all-inclusive word.
    – Semo
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 12:27
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, my liege. I edited the question.
    – Semo
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 8:07
  • @Semo "It seems the English language does not distinguish ... In the German language ... possibly due to composite words on the fly" I don't speak German, but from what I know of it, English can be just as expressive; the main difference being you joinAllYourSubtlyNuancedWordsOnTheFly into one whereas we keep separate all the expressions of fine-tuned gradations in meaning. :-)
    – TripeHound
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 14:51

4 Answers 4


I think that the word data is more appropriate here:

Data: facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.

Data set seems more like a term from the computer science.


As far as I remember from books on mathematical statistics, they call it often simply "data sets". If we mention "data" it is not implicitly assumed that the collected data has some common origin or are bound together by a common source like measured results of experiments. We may try in a sentence like: In the next step we loaded the measured data sets into our database.


Such manual "databases" were typically maintained in notebooks or otherwise bound sheets (in file folders, for example) and called logs/records.


record NOUN

1 A thing constituting a piece of evidence about the past, especially an account kept in writing or some other permanent form:

‘a record of meter readings’

log NOUN

2.1 A regular or systematic record of incidents or observations:

‘keep a detailed log of your activities’


From my understanding of the entry for Datenbasis in Wikipedia — and your description in English — what you are referring to would be termed:

raw data

as in one of the examples for ‘raw’ in Oxford Dictionary on Line:

1.2 (of data) not analysed, evaluated, or processed for use.

‘there were a number of errors in the raw data’

or, perhaps

a dataset or data set

defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

A collection of related sets of information that is composed of separate elements but can be manipulated as a unit by a computer.

I believe that your title is incorrect, however, as Datenbasis cannot be translated as database in English if it means eine Menge an Daten (a quantity of data) as the Wikipedia entry states. Neither of the terms raw data or data set I have suggested are synonymous with database, one feature of which is that the data are organized in some specific manner. Whether it is ‘technical’ or not has nothing to do with it, unless by ‘non-technical’ you mean unprocessed. The English database would seem rather to be equivalent to the German Datenbank.

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