Data Filtering

What Does Data Filtering Mean?

Data filtering in IT can refer to a wide range of strategies or solutions for refining data sets. This means the data sets are refined into simply what a user (or set of users) needs, without including other data that can be repetitive, irrelevant or even sensitive. Different types of data filters can be used to amend reports, query results, or other kinds of information results.

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Techopedia Explains Data Filtering

Typically, data filtering will involve taking out information that is useless to a reader or information that can be confusing. Generated reports and query results from database tools often result in large and complex data sets. Redundant or impartial pieces of data can confuse or disorient a user. Filtering data can also make results more efficient.

In some other cases, data filters work to prevent wider access to sensitive information. For example, a data filtering program could scrub Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other identifiers from complex client data sets coming into an employee’s workstation or, even more importantly, onto his or her mobile device. With the "bring your own device" (BYOD) movement emerging within the business world, data filtering can solve some security problems related to the information that employees need to do their jobs.

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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.