Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Data matching describes efforts to compare two sets of collected data. This can be done in many different ways, but the process is often based on algorithms or programmed loops, where processors perform sequential analyses of each individual piece of a data set, matching it against each individual piece of another data set, or comparing complex variables like strings for particular similarities.
Data matching can be done in order to discard duplicate content, or for various kinds of data mining. Many efforts at data matching are done for the purposes of identifying a key link between two data sets for marketing, security or other applied uses.
In general, data matching allows those holding large amounts of data to perform more precise searches that produce more efficient results. Some would argue that data matching capability can be used in ways that constitute a threat to personal privacy, especially where the use of diverse data sets is not explicit or transparent. Data matching may be one of the issues that gets added to the overall ongoing debate about personal privacy in an era where much more data is being collected about the average citizen in many different industries and venues.