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Those of us raised in Western cultures have been conditioned to think of data as arranged in rows. The way data is presented in ledgers, tables, spreadsheets, and even in the left to right, top to bottom organization of European languages has programmed us to visualize data in row format. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the first digital files were created with each record represented as a row. But no matter how convenient and familiar this format may be, it is not always the best way to organize data physically.
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