Data Access

What Does Data Access Mean?

Data access refers to a user’s ability to access or retrieve data stored within a database or other repository. Users who have data access can store, retrieve, move or manipulate stored data, which can be stored on a wide range of hard drives and external devices.

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Techopedia Explains Data Access

There are two ways to access stored data: random access and sequential access. The sequential method requires information to be moved within the disk using a seek operation until the data is located. Each segment of data has to be read one after another until the requested data is found. Reading data randomly allows users to store or retrieve data anywhere on the disk, and the data is accessed in constant time.

Oftentimes when using random access, the data is split into multiple parts or pieces and located anywhere randomly on a disk. Sequential files are usually faster to load and retrieve because they require fewer seek operations.

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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.