A-to-D conversion (analog-to-digital conversion) is the process of converting analog information from life into digital information that a computer can understand. Most information in nature is in analog form, covering a continuous range of values (such as the passing of time, as exemplified by the hands of a regular clock).
Digital information is in discrete, or separate, values, such as the countable chunks of seconds and minutes in a digital clock. You might want to use a computer to record analog information from nature by hooking it up to some kind of sensor like a light or pressure meter. But to store this information in the computer, the analog readings from these meters must be passed through an A-to-D converter to turn them into a digital form.