On Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 1:22 AM, Graham Triggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> That's an interesting distinction though. Do you need all that data in
> order to make sense of the results? You don't [necessarily] need to
> know who conducted some research, or when they conducted it in order
> to analyse and make sense of the data. In the context of having the
> data, this other information becomes irrelevant in terms of
> understanding what that data says.
It is *essential* to understanding what the data says. Perhaps you
find out your sensor was on the fritz during a time period -- you need
to be able to know what datasets are suspect. Maybe the blood pressure
effect you're looking at is mediated by circadian rhythms, and hence,
times of day.
Not all of your data is necessary in every analysis, but a bunch of
blood pressure measurements in the absence of contextual information
is universally useless.
The metadata is part of the data.