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11 Types of Source Data

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Source data is information that hasn't be processed. The term is used for original data that is collected at its source. The following are common types of source data.

User Input

User input such as a form submitted by a customer.


An event such as a customer who clicks on a product description.


Raw data from a sensor such as a microphone.

Machine Data

Data produced by a machine such as a scientific instrument.


Commercially relevant transactions such as an ecommerce purchase or stock trade.

Reference Data

Data that is used in many places but changes rarely such as a country code or stock ticker.


Information generated by people that is assessed as valuable such as a document created by a domain expert.


Observations recorded by a person or instrument such as the results of an experiment.

Natural Language

Natural language such as an interview with a lead user.


Information that has creative or informational value such as a photo or video.


Communication such an email.
Overview: Source Data
Information that hasn't be processed.
Tracing things back to source data is often required to validate or audit calculated data.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about data.
Abstract Data
Atomic Data
Big Data
Cohort Analysis
Dark Data
Data Analysis
Data Architecture
Data Attribute
Data Cleansing
Data Collection
Data Complexity
Data Consumer
Data Control
Data Corruption
Data Custodian
Data Degradation
Data Dredging
Data Entity
Data Federation
Data Integration
Data Integrity
Data Liberation
Data Lineage
Data Literacy
Data Loss
Data Management
Data Massage
Data Migration
Data Mining
Data Owner
Data Producer
Data Quality
Data Remanence
Data Risks
Data Rot
Data Science
Data Security
Data States
Data Transformation
Data Uncertainty
Data Veracity
Data View
Data Virtualization
Data Volume
Data Wipe
Decision Support
Deep Magic
Empirical Evidence
Event Data
Hard Data
Information Assurance
Legacy Data
Machine Data
Market Research
Master Data
Misuse of Statistics
Personal Data
Personal Information
Predictive Analytics
Primary Data
Primary Research
Qualitative Data
Qualitative Info
Quantitative Data
Raw Data
Reference Data
Small Data
Soft Data
Source Data
Statistical Analysis
Statistical Population
Structured Data
Transaction Processing
Transactional Data
Types Of Data
Unstructured Data
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Types Of Data

The basic types of data.

Transactional Data

A definition of transactional data with examples.

Machine Data

The common types of machine data.

Reference Data

A definition of reference data with examples.

Master Data

A definition of master data with examples.

Quantitative Data

The common types of quantitative data.

Atomic Data

A definition of atomic data with examples.

Context Awareness

The common types of context awareness.

Data In Use

A definition of data in use with examples.


An overview of data with a list of examples.

Qualitative Data

A definition of qualitative data with examples.

Data In Rest

A definition of data in rest with examples.

Data Degradation

The basic types of data degradation.

Data Volume

The definition of data volume with examples.

Data Uncertainty

A definition of data uncertainty with examples.

Data Infrastructure

The definition of data infrastructure with examples.

Qualitative Data vs Quantitative Data

The difference between qualitative data and quantitative data.
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