To Be, Or Not To Be: Shakespeare, Big Data, and the Metadata Management Solution

Posted by Brendan Cannon on Nov 1, 2016 9:05:00 AM

You may have seen in the news that 17 plays attributed to William Shakespeare were discovered to have been written in collaboration with other playwrights. Long a source of debate, the (co-)authorship of Shakespeare’s plays has until now been uncertain, but with the use of big data, scholars have been able to piece together the puzzle and come up with some very interesting new insights.

To make a long story short, reputed rival Christopher Marlowe co-penned the Henry VI trilogy, while Thomas Middleton adapted All’s Well That Ends Well. That’s all very well, you might say, but how does it relate to big data, and finding an effective way to manage that data for my business?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Information has been around for centuries regarding the authorship of these plays, but it was only with the emergence of big data that scholars could prove it was reliable. They used an extensive data catalog that enabled precise comparisons of different authors. Locating, collating, cross-referencing and assessing the data they now had regarding terms, language and idiolect, they were able to determine that more than one author was involved. The result, exciting new insights.

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Topics: Metadata, metadata manaement, big data, metadata management system, data lakes

Metadata in Regulations Part 2: Building the Ontology of Personal Data in your organization

Posted by Daragh O’Brien on Jul 27, 2016 5:30:00 PM

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Topics: Metadata, 2016/679/EU, GDPR, information supply chain assurance, Ontologies, personal data, data protection

Metadata in Regulations Part 1 Be Ready For 2016/679/EU (GDPR)

Posted by Daragh O’Brien on Jun 14, 2016 4:58:39 PM

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Topics: Metadata, 2016/679/EU, GDPR, information supply chain assurance, Ontologies

Defining Irony: How the NSA made ‘metadata’ mainstream with an incorrect definition

Posted by Daragh O’Brien on May 4, 2016 10:30:00 AM


What is metadata? All too often when I ask this question of technologist colleagues I get bombarded with an array of definitions, the only unifying characteristic of which is that they fail to evoke relevance for me from a busy business manager’s perspective.

“Metadata is data about data,” I’m told. “Metadata is data that provides information about other data.” I chortle at this because one of the overlaps between my legal training and my years of experience in data modelling is that it is always an error to define something with reference to itself, and these definitions sound very recursive. Also, this definition causes those of us who are not information-centric or technology-biased thinkers to switch off. Data is the job of the IT department after all, right?

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Topics: Metadata, Cartography

Five Key Reasons why ‘the Business’ should care about Metadata

Posted by Daragh O’Brien on Apr 13, 2016 12:38:00 PM

“Metadata” is a much abused term that entered the mainstream vocabulary in recent years through the revelations about mass surveillance by agencies such as GCHQ and the NSA. Unfortunately, much of the data that was labelled ‘metadata’ in media commentary on surveillance isn’t – it’s actual data recording the fact of a phone call or an email.

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Topics: Metadata

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