What is Metadata? – Definition, Examples, Benefits, And More
Metadata is data that gives information about other data. Concepts such as big data and Metadata are already part of the vocabulary of the business world.
Large, medium and small businesses begin to understand the importance of information and data for the growth of their companies, although many are still not clear about the real meaning of all these terms, especially what are the Metadata and relevance.
Metadata is”data that describes other data.” These are data that describe us and provide extra information about different types of data, such as files that you have stored on your computer or data registered on your social networks or your business website.
It is like a description sheet of all files or the information that goes through your hands every day. It gives you information about what kind of content this file has, its attributes, or the quality of the data.
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What does Metadata contain?
Metadata contains essential information such as the author of the file, the extension or size, the format, the date on which it got created, the modifications made to it, and much other information that may be your interest.
Different types of Metadata are:
- Administrative Metadata
- Statistical Metadata
- Structural Metadata
- Descriptive Metadata
- Reference metadata
Some examples of Metadata
Imagine the file is an email. The Metadata offers you information about who is the author of that message, in which company you work when you have sent the message, its extension, or if there are attachments.
Now imagine that you work managing a food company. A lot of information goes through your hands related to the food that arrives and leaves your company, suppliers, or your customers, right?
[Metadata] can offer us extra information about all of them, for example:
Of the products
What kind of product is it, if it is a fruit, if it got packaged of some type or if it is a drink; whether it is perishable or not; the date of entry and exit of the warehouse; the expiration date; the supplier of the product or its origin.
Products sold by the supplier; that you usually buy; the transactions made with him; the recorded incidents or their location.
Their age; sex; place of residence; their likes; consumption habits; bank with which you work or if it is a family with children.
Benefits provided by metadata to companies
The digital era has favored the circulation of large amounts of information and data, some very interesting for your business, although others not.
[Metadata] helps you to classify this data and then be able to recover, analyze, and use it for your benefit. They favor the search for information. By having a classification with different attributes, it is easier for you to find the information you need—for example, the consumption habits of customers residing in a particular area.
Help in decision making. The information it offers helps you make sound decisions.
It improves the competitiveness of companies. It will be easier for you to design strategies and take the necessary measures to enhance and differentiate yourself from your competition.
Remember, information is power and, knowing how to search and analyze all this information is crucial for the success of your business.
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