Higher Education Innovation In Action

Credentials Explains: What is a Data Matrix Barcode?

Rose Addison, Manager, Documentation & Training Feb 06, 2018

Credentials Solutions ExplainsA data matrix barcode, or DMB, is a unique two-dimensional barcode encoded with alphanumeric information. Each DMB is comprised of black and white dots and/or squares, most commonly displayed in a square pattern. Generally speaking, specialized camera equipment and software is required to read the light and dark areas of the code, decode it, and then analyze the information within.

Data stored within the code is contained in columns and rows, so the size of the DMB itself ranges, as it depends on the amount of data included. The binary numeral system is used to represent this stored data – dark spots typically represent a “1”, while light spots usually indicate a “0”. Each DMB arranges its matrix within a predetermined standard to correctly orient the code and accurately provide a count of the numbers of rows and columns within the symbol.

Today, DMBs are used across many different industries, in countless applications. If you haven’t noticed them yet, you will now. DMBs exist everywhere; they’re on our car tires, the computers we work on, the smartphones we tweet with, and the food we eat… NASA even engraves DMBs onto specialized aerospace parts eliminating the need for traditional labels that might fall off or get damaged along the way.

At Credentials, we use DMBs within the eRoboMail® solution. Each transcript page contains a very small data matrix code used by our advanced machinery to properly sort, stuff, and seal transcript pages. Incorporating DMBs allows us to automate tedious manual processes and provides an extra measure of built-in quality assurance! If ever a transcript page gets out of order or pages are not properly sorted, our machines come to a halt to avoid any potential errors.