Data Independence

What Does Data Independence Mean?

Data independence is the idea that generated and stored data should be kept separate from applications that use the data for computing and presentation. In many systems, data independence is an innate function related to the multiple components of the system; however, it is possible to keep data contained within a use application.


Techopedia Explains Data Independence

To demonstrate the popularity of data independence, experts often point to conventional database systems. The role of a database is to hold data for use by various applications. Data independence allows for the same data to be used in many different ways. It’s a more versatile approach than keeping data hidden within a program’s source code.

As big data and other technology advances continue to progress, ideas for using data have gone far beyond simple data independence to cross-platform functionality, where data gets routed to many different destinations before being returned to a safe and secure storage medium. For example, an analytics engine will typically intake data in order to parse it and present results, but will return that data to a central data warehouse or other storage location. In these kinds of systems, data is most often rented, not owned and remains largely transient (though often highly regulated) until the time where it is no longer useful to the system, and will be archived or deleted according to the particular needs of administrators.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.