The Data Life Cycle in 7 Phases

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lifeby Angela Guess

Malcolm Chisholm recently shared his take on the data life cycle in Information Management. He writes, “This is one attempt to describe the Data Life Cycle. It takes the position that a life cycle consists of phases, and each phase has its own characteristics. Einstein, when he was a teenager tried to think what it would be like to ride a beam of light. There is no chance that we can emulate Einstein, but perhaps we ca put his idea to use. What would happen if we could ride on a piece of data as it moved through the enterprise?  What new experiences would the piece of data have? What phases would it pass though?”

The first phase, according to Chisholm, is data capture: “The first experience that an item of data must have is to pass within the firewalls of the enterprise.  This is Data Capture, which can be defined as: the act of creating data values that do not yet exist and have never existed within the enterprise There are three main ways that data can be captured, and these are very important: (1) Data Acquisition:the ingestion of already existing data that has been produced by an organization outside the enterprise. (2) Data Entry: the creation of new data values for the enterprise by human operators or devices that generate data for the enterprise. (3) Signal Reception:the capture of data created by devices, typically important in control systems, but becoming more important for information systems with the Internet of Things.”

The next phase is data maintenance: “Once data has been captured it usually encounters Data Maintenance. This can be defined as: the supplying of data to points at which Data Synthesis and Data Usage occur, ideally in a form that is best suited for these purposes We will deal with Data Synthesis and Data Usage in a moment. What Data Maintenance is about is processing the data without yet deriving any value from it for the enterprise. It often involves tasks such as movement, integration, cleansing, enrichment, changed data capture, as well as familiar extract-transform-load processes.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Flickr/ Julia Folsom

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