A database is a place to store your metadata: “data that provides information about other data“.
This metadata could be any kind of information that will help you learn or make decisions based on the facts. It would seem that the more information you have on a particular topic, the more informed your decision will be on that topic. But sometimes too much information scattered all around is useless unless you can sort it all out and somehow manage it. So in order to make use of a large record set, you will need some way to filter and sort it all out.
Here is a simple example with a practical application:
Suppose you’re watching a YouTube video and you like it. So you click the thumbs up button and the video is saved down in your like feed below. If you do this over an extended period of time, you will have a lot of liked videos stored inside a database. But why you liked the videos is also important. You might like some videos because of the background music. You might like some videos for the humor, or the political message, or for whatever reason. The reasons for liking a video is metadata. This metadata will help you filter and sort through the large record set to find exactly what you want.
Here is a link where you can create a Favorite YouTube gallery with your own custom search words that will help you find exactly what you want.
Here is another example with a practical application:
Suppose you wanted to learn more about the your diet and how it affects your daily living and health. You would want to store the metadata surrounding the food you eat relative to the metadata surrounding your health. More specifically, suppose you wanted to learn more about your blood pressure relative to the amount of sodium in your diet and the medicine you are taking for your blood pressure. The metadata in this example will include the systolic and diastolic values of the blood pressure reading, the amount of sodium in the diet and the amount and type of medicine. But it could also include the date of the blood pressure test, the environment of the test (I have white coat anxiety, fear of doctors) and other factors such as frame of mind or mood or level of subjective happiness. All these, the blood pressure readings, the sodium, the medicine, the mood and even the happiness are all metadata that may or may not affect the blood pressure. One thing is certain, though. If you take your blood pressure twice a day for three months, you will have 180 records to guide you in your self-learning, but you will need some kind of way to filter and sort all these records. And that is were an online database will come in very handy.
I build online database applications. You can check out some of my projects on my projects page.