What is it and why use it?

What is provenance?

Provenance is information about the processes that used and produced data.

Why use it?

Knowing the relationships among computational processes and data allows us to conduct formal analyses about entire computer pipelines without having to re-run it. In other words, although having code and input data permits reproduction, there’s is no way of positively knowing what the software will do without running.

More info on provenance