I have some data that was directly measured by a sensor (it wasn't processed). I believe we can qualify this data as "raw data", but an English native speaker told me that it seems like a poor word choice. Is there any alternative? (In French we would call it "signal brut")
Data is not the same thing as signal.
If we're talking about signals, I would write
- unprocessed ECG signal
- original ECG signal
Several quotes come up in search engines with these combinations, especially with the second option.
I would prefer the second choice but if it's the first sentence of your incipit, it doesn't work that well, how is somebody supposed to know what you mean by original if you haven't talked about any processing yet?
You have this problem because it's redundant information. It's obvious from the context that you're talking about a generic ECG signal and so the reader will not think you're talking about a processed signal or anything, so deleting the adjective altogether is maybe the easiest solution.
Physiological signals such as EKG might contain key information to predict a medical condition, but are challenging to mine.
How's that sound?
Added note: google books turns up a quote on a book by Japanese authors where they say crude signal but I'd avoid that personally.
I have some data that was directly measured by a sensor....
Raw physiological signals such as EKG might contain key information to predict a medical condition, but are challenging to mine.
The sensors are not measuring data. Their measurements are recorded as data. We "mine" the data (ore metaphor), not the signals.
Not to nitpick, but is that which the sensor measures truly a "signal"? Are the sensors "overhearing" the brain signaling to itself? Or are the electronic discharges artefacts of the brain's chemical signaling process?
As an electrical engineer, I would say that "raw signal" and "raw data" are both correct technical English. If you want to emphasize what you didn't do to the data or signal, you could call it "unfiltered" or "unprocessed" or something of that nature.
Personally, I would say that data is a collection of information, and a signal is information in transit. If you already have the information from the sensor (say, in a table), it's raw data. If you're talking about the electrical signal (voltage) that comes out of the sensor, it's a raw signal.