Saturday, 26 March 2011


The term Metadata is an ambiguous term which is used for two fundamentally different concepts (Types). Although an expression "data about data" is often used, it does not apply to both in the same way. Structural metadata, the design and specification of data structures, cannot be about data, because at design time the application contains no data. In this case the correct description would be "data about the containers of data". Descriptive metadata on the other hand, is about individual instances of application data, the data content. In this case, a useful description (resulting in a disambiguating neologism) would be "data about data contents" or "content about content" thus metacontent. Descriptive, Guide and the NISO concept of administrative metadata are all subtypes of metacontent.

Metadata (metacontent) is traditionally found in the card catalogues of libraries. By describing the contents and context of data files, the quality of the original data/files is greatly increased. For example, a webpage may include metadata specifying what language it's written in, what tools were used to create it, and where to go for more on the subject, allowing browsers to automatically improve the experience of users.

1 comment:

  1. Data Quality - Business sold directly to Customers, or through dedicated Channel Partners, will be brought into the Adaptive Partner Program network for delivery and support.  A key qualifier will therefore be the availability of IT delivery skills and first line support skills in the Partner organization.  The partner will be trained by Adaptive, both to sell and to deliver the product (including customization).