How do you use the word data in a sentence?

Data is the plural of the Latin word 'datum', meaning something that is given (Donation comes from the same root). So data is a plural noun, meaning things that are given. Nowadays it usually means information put into a computer. * A spreadsheet program can take data and turn it into a graph. * Some of the data you gave me was from last year. * You can find all the census data online. There is a problem with this answer. It doesn't answer my question and contradicts itself. In other words, I still don't know how to use data in a sentence. You say that the word data is plural, yet your second sentence, "data you gave me was from last year" suggests that data is singular.

i.e. data was, not data were

I'm not trying to be persnickety or pedantic, I'd just like to know for sure.