CMS: Content Vs Data

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Content is a contextual information that is relevant to certain business or domain and target a particular audience. Content can have different meanings in different contexts, for example the “News Article” displayed in the “Top Stories” section means that it is the most recent or important or breaking news” whereas same content after a day may not be relevant.

Most of the time, content got misinterpreted with data. As a CMS architect/developer, one must have clarity of differentiating between them else it may result is bad design.

Lets consider a simple example of Daily weather reports where min & max temperature is the Data whereas the description i.e. “how cool or how hot it is” is the Content.

Thus, we can say that,

  1. Content can have different meanings in different contexts whereas data shows fixed, measurable value that usually only has one interpretation.
  2. Content is usually not used by other systems to make programmatic or rule-based decisions whereas data is most often used for that

However, both can be stored in a manner that is accessible to multiple distinct systems & are often linked together before presentation to end users. Metadata can be used to relate both of them together.

Content adds “value” to data by providing meaning, context, services and intelligence around raw data.


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