Browse Definitions:
Definition

data life cycle

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

The data life cycle is the sequence of stages that a particular unit of data goes through from its initial generation or capture to its eventual archival and/or deletion at the end of its useful life. 

Although specifics vary, data management experts often identify six or more stages in the data life cycle. Here's one example:

  1. Generation or capture: In this phase, data comes into an organization, usually through data entry, acquisition from an external source or signal reception, such as transmitted sensor data.
  2.  Maintenance: In this phase, data is processed prior to its use. The data may be subjected to processes such as integration, scrubbing and extract-transform-load (ETL).
  3. Active use: In this phase, data is used to support the organization’s objectives and operations.
  4. Publication: In this phase, data isn’t necessarily made available to the broader public but is just sent outside the organization. Publication may or may not be part of the life cycle for a particular unit of data.
  5. Archiving: In this phase, data is removed from all active production environments. It is no longer processed, used or published but is stored in case it is needed again in the future.
  6. Purging: In this phase, every copy of data is deleted. Typically, this is performed on data that is already archived.

Data lifecycle management (DLM) is becoming increasingly important since the explosion of big data and the ongoing development of the Internet of Things (IoT). Enormous volumes of data are being generated by an ever-increasing number of devices all over the world. Proper oversight of data throughout its life cycle is essential to optimize its usefulness and minimize the potential for errors. Finally, archiving or deleting data at the end of its useful life ensures that it does not consume more resources than necessary.

This was last updated in July 2017

Continue Reading About data life cycle

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • principle of least privilege (POLP)

    The principle of least privilege (POLP), an important concept in computer security, is the practice of limiting access rights for...

  • identity management (ID management)

    Identity management (ID management) is the organizational process for identifying, authenticating and authorizing individuals or ...

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day vulnerability, also known as a computer zero day, is a flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close