The question; "What is Data?" is not so easy to answer. In fact data has many dimensions. Consequently, what I am doing here is assembling a whole series of articles that touch on these various dimensions.
- We can examine the "What is data?" question in a general top-down manner from the perspective of the distinction between knowledge, information and data. This is explored in the following article; What is Data (from the top down)?
- We can look at it from a bottom up manner, starting from a dictionary definition and moving forward to bring up the purpose of XML. This is explored in the following article: What is Data (from the bottom up)?
- Another relevant aspect of data is value; the value of data involves its urgency. Indeed the urgency of data often determines its value in a calculable way. Read When is data urgent? for more on this.
- There's also the Big Data question; Do We Need All This Data? This link takes you to an article which discusses the topic in terms of signal and noise.
- Another way of thinking about the topic of data is in respect of the Data-centric and Process-centric approaches to building computer systems. It is explored in Two Sides To The IT Coin
- There's an ariticle here about unstructured data: Why is the Data So Lumpy?
- Then there's the fact that, surprisingly, Data Doesn't Know What It Is? (It really doesn't)
- You can also examine the dstinct varieties of data. The Species of Data looks into this.
- Finally we can examine data from teh perspective of time. Data: In Its Own Time explores that.
If you have read all of these, then congratulations, that's a lot of words, or perhaps, a lot of data. Nevertheless, I don't suppose for one moment that I've exhausted the topic.