Discover data patterns or Create data patterns?
Hi Folks, Recently I read this: "One of the most important axioms in the discipline of Information Architecture states that designers are the ones who uncover patterns inherent in data, and expose them in an interface."  I was particularly struck by these words: "uncover patterns inherent in data". I got to thinking, - How does one uncover patterns in data? - Does data have inherent patterns? - What is a data pattern? I looked at regular expressions, e.g. [a-zA-Z]*[0-9]* This regular expression specifies a "pattern"; namely zero or more letters of the alphabet followed by zero or more digits. This is a low-level pattern, at the character level. What are patterns at the document level? When I create an XML instance document I am (implicitly) stating, - Here is a data pattern I think is useful. Do you agree? For example, I discovered a pattern in BookStores: they are comprised of multiple Books. And I discovered a pattern in Books: they are comprised of a Title, an Author, a Date of publication, an ISBN, and a Publisher. I can expose these patterns like this: <BookStore> <Book> <Title>The Art & Science of Web Design</Title> <Author>Jeffrey Veen</Author> <Date>2001</Date> <ISBN>0-7897-2379-0</ISBN> <Publisher>New Riders</Publisher> </Book> ... </BookStore> QUESTIONS 1. Are data patterns discovered, or, are data patterns created? 2. Are data patterns descriptive, or, are data patterns prescriptive? 3. What's the difference between a "master" data designer versus a "novice" data designer? 4. Does this characterize the difference: a master data designer discovers patterns intrinsic in data whereas a novice data designer engineers a pattern? 5. Are there steps that a person can take to transition from a novice data designer to a master data designer? /Roger  The Art & Science of Web Design by Jeffrey Veen
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