A college professor friend of mine who overheard me speaking about the concept of meta data jokingly told me that in his line of work, whenever thinkers or philosophers don't understand something or can't explain it very well, they stick the prefix "meta" in front of the word and call it done (e.g., metatheory, metaphysics and meta-ethics).

I assured him that was not the case with meta data ... that we always know what we're talking about in our field. Lately, however, his comment has been troubling me. Consider, for example, my column last month which presented a framework for deliverables that concern a data architect. If someone were to ask me where meta data fits into that framework, I'd have to reply honestly: It doesn't. I want to address that issue this month.

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