Browse Definitions:

perishable data

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Perishable data is data that loses its initial value over time and must be acted on swiftly to yield any benefit. The narrow value window of some data is the concept behind fast data: the effort to quickly gather and mine structured and unstructured data in near-real or real-time so that action can be taken to solve a problem or create business value. 

Examples of perishable data include:

  • Wind speed and direction data used to guide wind turbine alignment to maximize energy output.
  • Stock market securities trading transactions.
  • The temperature of a refrigerated container.
  • A customer's location in a retail store.
  • Anomalous behavior picked up by a financial service's fraud detection system.
  • Biosensor data that predicts a potential heart attack or stroke.

Perishable data is often processed in an edge computing environment, a distributed IT architecture in which client data is processed as close to the originating source as possible.  Edge computing improves time to action and reduces response time down to milliseconds, while also conserving network resources. 


This was last updated in August 2016

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