Metadata as the North Star for Data-Driven Organizations

February 9, 2023
4 min

Data Catalog as a Metadata Hub

The data catalog is a metadata hub, connecting all of your data assets to each other and to the people who need them. By making it easy to find and understand data, the data catalog enables better decision-making across the organization.

  • The data catalog also plays an important role in governance, helping you to discover and track sensitive data, ensure compliance with regulations, and manage access control.

The Data Catalog of the Future

The data catalog of the future will be powered by active metadata.

The new data quality system lets the company manage all aspects of identifying, tracking, and fixing problems with their data without overwhelming anyone.

It will be able to automatically generate metadata and make it available through APIs, enabling intelligent data to use cases like observability, cost management, quality control, and more.

Active Metadata: is a key enabler for intelligent data. It is the missing link between data and insights.

  • Active metadata is data about data that is constantly changing and evolving. It is the “living, breathing” aspect of data that helps us make sense of it and understand its context.
  • Active metadata is generated by people and machines, and it is constantly being updated as new data is created or discovered.
  • Active metadata is also the key to unlocking the full potential of your data assets.
  • it enables dozens of intelligent data use cases, from observability to cost management to quality control.

There are many possible use cases for active metadata, but they all have one thing in common: they use metadata to take action on data.

But why metadata?

The idea of metadata is not new. In fact, it has been around for centuries. The term itself was first introduced in the late 18th century, and it has been used in a variety of different fields ever since. However, it is only recently that metadata has begun to gain traction as a tool for data management. There are a few reasons for this.

First, the volume and variety of data that organizations must deal with have exploded in recent years. This has made it increasingly difficult for humans to keep track of all their data assets, let alone understand what they contain. Metadata can help with both of these problems by providing a way to organize and structure data so that it can be more easily discovered and understood.

Second, the rise of big data and artificial intelligence has created a need for more intelligent data management. Organizations are now looking for ways to automate the management of their data assets, and metadata is a key component of this.

Importance of Active Metadata

Organizations today are struggling to manage their data effectively. They have too much data, and it is spread across too many silos.

They lack visibility into their data, and they don’t have the tools or the expertise to effectively govern it.

As a result, their data management processes are inefficient

  • Active metadata is important because it enables intelligent data management. organizations can overcome these challenges by enabling them to automatically optimize their data management processes. and make them more efficient. This is the key to making intelligent data a reality.
  • With active metadata, organizations can gain visibility into their data, enforce policies, and take action to remediate problems.
  • It can also help organizations tune their data pipelines and make them more efficient.
  • Active metadata can be used to automatically trigger events, like sending an alert when data quality drops below a certain threshold.
  • It can be used to automatically enforce policies, like ensuring that all PII data is encrypted.
  • By using metadata to describe the contents and relationships of data, organizations can develop systems that can automatically understand and manage their data assets.
  • The tool is designed to help data consumers identify where their data comes from and how it has been used. Additionally, the tool can provide insights into which datasets are most important for a specific business or organization, making it easier to make informed decisions about what information should be collected and analyzed.

There are a few key things that need to happen to make this a reality:

1. Developers need to start thinking about metadata as first-class citizens.

This means that every time you create or update a piece of data, you should also be creating or updating the metadata associated with it.

2. We need to start storing metadata in a format that can be easily queried and analyzed

By storing metadata in a structured format like Apache Hive, we can start to run queries and perform analytics on it just like we would with any other data.

3. We need to build APIs and tooling that makes it easy to access and work with metadata.

4. We need to start using metadata to drive intelligent data pipelines. By using metadata to drive these pipelines, we can make them much more intelligent and efficient.

Metadata as the “north star” for data-driven organizations

The most important thing that metadata can do is to help data-driven organizations align around a common understanding of their data.

This is what I call the “north star” use case for metadata.

  • A data-driven organization is one that uses data to make decisions. This requires that everyone in the organization have a shared understanding of the data. If different people have different understandings of the data, then they will make different decisions. This can lead to chaos.

The north star use case for metadata is to help data-driven organizations align around a common understanding of their data. This shared understanding is what I call the “data model.”

The data model is a representation of the data that is shared by all members of the organization. It includes things like the names of tables and columns, the data types, and the relationships between tables.

The data model is the cornerstone of the data-driven organization. It is the foundation upon which all decisions are made.

  • The north star use case for metadata is to help data-driven organizations build and maintain a shared data model. This shared data model is the key to making sure that everyone in the organization is working with the same data.

Getting all of these advantages requires excellent metadata, which is delivered through data cleaning and preparation utilizing AI and ML technologies.

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