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What is Data?
[No Image] By: Robin Bloor, Co-Founder, The Bloor Group
Published: 26th March 2013
Copyright The Bloor Group © 2013

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.


Published by: IT Analysis Communications Ltd.
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