It is universally acknowledged that researchers are interested in data of all kinds, regardless of origin or type.
Here are some of the recognised definitions of research data:
"Research data, unlike other types of information, is collected, observed, or created, for purposes of analysis to produce original research results." Edinburgh University Data Library Research Data Management Handbook
“Research data means data in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which an argument, theory, test or hypothesis, or another research output is based. Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. It may be raw, cleaned or processed, and may be held in any format or media”. The Queensland University of Technology Management of Research Data Policy
“The recorded information (regardless of the form or the media in which they may exist) necessary to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs”. The University of Oxford Policy on Management of Research Data and Records
Research data management (or RDM) is a term that describes the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used in a research project. It involves the everyday management of research data during the lifetime of a research project (for example, using consistent file naming conventions). It also involves decisions about how data will be preserved and shared after the project is completed (for example, depositing the data in a repository for long-term archiving and access).
There are a host of reasons why research data management is important: