Trends in Information Systems: Metadata.

5 Mar


In this post i am going to tell you all about Metadata. A common explanation of Metadata describes it as “data about data”. It can also be described as structured data that defines a resource. This structured data takes the form of a standard list of elements that are used to describe the resource, whether it be a publication, a web page, or a database. Examples of elements could include Title, Creator, Publisher, Identifier, and Format. A good example of metadata that we are very familiar with is the telephone book, where we search for a telephone number using name or location and it comes up at once.

Why should we use metadata?
Metadata is a tool which we can use to manage our information resources. Much like you would use an index in the back of a book to find a topic of interest, metadata provides an “index” of our information and data holdings that greatly simplifies how we search for what we need.
It will enable us to answer a variety of questions. Through the use of metadata we can easily determine what we have for information holdings on any given area of interest and provide links to the holdings matching our search criteria. The area of program planning will greatly benefit by helping us identify where we have gaps in information and where we have redundancy of effort, which will point us to our priorities for the future.


How does metadata work?

Without metadata a user would have to search each “holder” individually (see below)



With metadata, one search yields all



I hope you found this topic as interesting as i did.
Thank you!


2 Responses to “Trends in Information Systems: Metadata.”

  1. sad111331526 March 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Really interesting blog! I learned alot 🙂

  2. sad111708665 March 8, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    …i didnt know anything about Meta-data until I read your blog, so appreciation for that…the diagrams helped also; well documented..

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