Documents are delivery mechanisms for data.’[1] They are ways of formatting and structuring information in a way that is easily understood by the receiver. Documents aid the communication of information.

Some things start out as documents and are later broken down to its constituent data parts.

An example of this could be a restaurant or bar menu. Worked out by the proprietor in Word and perhaps typeset by a graphic designer – two types of documents. To make the menu dynamic, and to make it editable without having to go through Word or Indesign, maybe just to make a small adjustment, we could break the menu document down into data:

  • Menu (September 2021)
    • Section (Cocktails)
      • Menu item (Margarita)
      • Menu item (Daisy)
      • Menu item (Sidecar)
    • Section (Snacks)
      • Menu item (Olives)
      • Menu item (Giant corn)

A menu item could be broken down further, to include:

  • Menu item
    • Title
    • Description
    • Price
    • Allergens
      • Allergen