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Chapter 3. Data and Datatypes > Retaining Meaning with Datatypes

3.2. Retaining Meaning with Datatypes

How do we store information as raw data without losing meaning? By categorizing our data and defining its datatype, we give it context that defines its meaning.

For example, suppose we have three numbers: 5155534, 5159592, and 4593030. By categorizing our data—as, say, a phone number, fax number, and parcel tracking number—the context (and, hence, the meaning) of our data is preserved. When categorized, each of the otherwise-nondescript seven-digit numbers becomes meaningful.


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