[Sigh] [Deep sigh] There are still some NRO readers who think that “data” is a plural English word, in spite of my having disposed dispositively of the whole silly issue in Prime Obsession, pp.85-86.
Once more: “data” is indeed a plural noun in Latin. However, if it’s Latin you’re writing, you should put the word in italics, which I didn’t.
In English (i.e. out of italics), ”data” is an aggregative noun, identifying a kind of STUFF, like “rice” or “grass.” These nouns take the singular form of the verb: “The rice is cooked.”
And I don’t care what your stupid dictionary says. I spent most of my life working with data. I know what it is.