The amount of data that is available to end users increases exponentially each day. Finding the correct piece of content within that data becomes more difficult as the amount gets bigger. One way to augment the vastness of a big data repository is to provide well presented and relevant pieces of information about the results to the end user. This concept is called metadata and is often referred to as "data about data" or "information about information".

Metadata can take many forms (source, publication date, author, file type, serial number, customer, etc.), and can be used in many ways to assist the user (including result ranking, sorting, searching, filtering). When extracted correctly and consistently, metadata becomes an essential part of any application.

The Watson™ Explorer Engine can use metadata in many different ways to categorize, organize, and optimize your information. Some types of metadata can use useful to display (such as an author field), and other types (such as encoding or file permissions) may be used internally to automatically manipulate the results.

Metadata is also a very important component of building an application using the Watson Explorer Application Builder. Identifying appropriate identifying information can let you build a robust 360 degree view of all your business information. For more details on building an application, consult the Application Builder tutorial.

Note: The completion of this tutorial is a prerequisite of the Application Builder tutorial. The data source provided in this tutorial functions as a basis for exploring Application Builder features.

In a Watson Explorer Engine search collection, metadata extracted from a source is usually stored as a content within a Watson Explorer Engine document. Sometimes extracted metadata (such as URL) is also used as an attribute (or metadata) of a content within a document.

Before any metadata can be used, it must be first collected and then configured for use. This tutorial describes how to extract metadata from a source and then configure and use it in your application.

Note: An outline of the process used in this tutorial that can be used as a general checklist is provided at the end of this Extracting Content and Using Metadata Process Overview.

To proceed to the next section of this tutorial, click Files Used in This Tutorial.