Data archeology refers to methods for recovering information stored in formats that are becoming (or have become) obsolete. When data is stored in an obscure file format it can usually be translated into a more common format by an intermediary program. However, data archeology may require the use of the original technology to read data stored in a different medium in order to convert it to a modern format.
Data archaeologists have helped preserve historical data that may otherwise have been lost due to the changing face of technology and storage. Data archeology is often used to retrieve digital data that is written on magnetic tape, punch cards, floppy disks or any of the other previous storage mediums that have fallen out of regular use. The need for data archeology has encouraged many organizations to try to future-proof their data by adopting standard formats and storage practices.