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Machine data

Machine data definition

Machine data refers to the information generated by digital devices, systems, and processes. In other words, every trace left by a digital action or process, such as sending an email, making a phone call, or visiting a website is machine data.

See also: machine cycle, machine learning

Machine data use cases:

  • System monitoring and management. It can be used to monitor the health and performance of apps, networks, and computer systems. For example, you can analyze CPU usage or network traffic to identify and fix performance issues.
  • Security. It is often used for security purposes. If you had to face a cyberattack, machine data can provide a lot of valuable information about how the attackers got into your network and what they did.
  • Business intelligence. It can tell companies a lot about their operations and customers. Website log data can show how users interact with a site and how they make purchases.

Examples of machine data:

  • Web server logs. Whenever you visit a website, the web server creates a log entry with details like your IP address, the time of the visit, and the pages you viewed.
  • Call detail records. When you make a phone call, the telephone company generates a record with information like the call duration, the numbers involved, and the time of the call.
  • Application logs. When a software application runs, it often generates log files that record what the application is doing as well as any issues or errors that arise.
  • Sensor data. Many devices, like smart thermostats or industrial machines, have sensors that constantly generate data about things like temperature, pressure, or speed.