Data is information that can be processed by machines. Data be used in research, design, calculations, logic, planning, strategy, decision making and automation. The following are illustrative examples of data.
A firm reports its financial numbers for a quarter. Market data firms record the numbers in their databases and offer the data to clients as a service.A hotel conducts ladder interviews with customers to discover the source of poor ratings and reviews. They discover that beds are uncomfortable and staff are unfriendly.
User InputAn ecommerce site collects user input such as product reviews.An ecommerce site triggers an event when a customer puts an item in their shopping cart that causes product suggestions for the customer to be recalculated.An aircraft engine reports an unusually high temperature to an aircraft.
A bank records a transfer of funds in its systems.A bank maintains a list of standard currency codes such as EUR for the euro. Changes to this data rarely occur but are used as a reference for other data such as currency exchange transactions.
Master data is information that an organization uses over and over again such that it is shared by many systems. For example, customer data such as a customer's name, address and account number.A weather station reports sensor readings in a message format that is processed before being stored in a weather database.
Unstructured data is information that isn't designed to be read by machines. For example, the text of an email. Although it is not structured for machines, they may read it anyway using natural language processing techniques.Media files such as photos and videos.
Data that describes other data such as a photo that contains embedded copyright notices. A verifiable fact such as the result of a blood test.
Soft DataInformation that is based on human perception, analysis or opinion such as a hospital patient who says they feel fine.Data that can be stored and processed on a single machine such as a project schedule that is stored in a file.Data that is so large that it requires multiple machines such as a cloud computing platform to store and process as a single collection. For example, the data collected by a large scale medical study.Big data that is collected but never used. For example, a retailer who tracks and records every visitors behavior in their stores but never finds a way to use this data.
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