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and hypertext documents. Here is a non-exclusive list of a variety of information collected
in digital form in databases and in flat files.
Business transactions: Every transaction in the business industry is (often)
“memorized” for perpetuity. Such transactions are usually time related and can be
inter-business deals such as purchases, exchanges, banking, stock, etc., or intrabusiness operations such as management of in-house wares and assets. Large
department stores, for example, thanks to the widespread use of bar codes, store
millions of transactions daily representing often terabytes of data. Storage space is
not the major problem, as the price of hard disks is continuously dropping, but the
effective use of the data in a reasonable time frame for competitive decision making
is definitely the most important problem to solve for businesses that struggle to
survive in a highly competitive world.
Scientific data: Whether in a Swiss nuclear accelerator laboratory counting
particles, in the Canadian forest studying readings from a grizzly bear radio collar,
on a South Pole iceberg gathering data about oceanic activity, or in an American
university investigating human psychology, our society is amassing colossal
amounts of scientific data that need to be analyzed. Unfortunately, we can capture
and store more new data faster than we can analyze the old data already
Medical and personal data: From government census to personnel and customer
files, very large collections of information are continuously gathered about
individuals and groups. Governments, companies and organizations such as
hospitals, are stockpiling very important quantities of personal data to help them
manage human resources, better understand a market, or simply assist clientele.
Regardless of the privacy issues this type of data often reveals, this information is
collected, used and even shared. When correlated with other data this information
can shed light on customer behaviour and the like.
Surveillance video and pictures: With the amazing collapse of video camera
prices, video cameras are becoming ubiquitous. Video tapes from surveillance
cameras are usually recycled and thus the content is lost. However, there is a
tendency today to store the tapes and even digitize them for future use and analysis.
Satellite sensing: There is a countless number of satellites around the globe: some
are geo-stationary above a region, and some are orbiting around the Earth, but all
are sending a non-stop stream of data to the surface. NASA, which controls a large
number of satellites, receives more data every second than what all NASA
researchers and engineers can cope with. Many satellite pictures and data are made
15CS651 ASHA S MANEK, CSE