Potlach Feast

Recombinant Data

Over the past several years, I’ve occasionally used the phrase “recombinant data” when talking about the Semantic Web. Recently at the Semantic Technologies 2007 conference I attempted to give this term a definition during one of my talks:

the ability to rapidly recombine, reform, re-factor and reuse data from different applications to address a particular task, need or objective

Eric Miller, President Zepheira “The Business of Recombinant Data”

It’s not quite right, but close…

Passing this definition though a syllabic minimization filter yields: “when it comes to data – write once, use often”.

The talk went on to demonstrate the benefit of recombinant data by using various practical tools the Simile folks have been developing to solve specific use-cases. And from there connecting these examples back to real-world problems that enterprises are grappling with in terms of more efficient, flexible means of supporting data integration and ultimately effective business intelligence. And while I’m admitedly bias in my assessment, it seemed to go over extremely well. Re-echoing the point once again that showing rather than telling helps people understand the power of recombinant data.