Metadata Management – 5 Important Criteria to Consider When Selecting Your System

Metadata Management Handelskraft
Source: Pixabay/theglassdesk

In digitalised companies, the volume of data is reaching new heights. The amount of data from systems such as ERP, CRM or PIM tools is growing rapidly. How do you keep track of all this data?

»Metadata management system« is the name of the tool that supports companies in this regard. The prefix »meta« already indicates that the switch to a higher, more abstract level provides a better overview.

Metadata Management: From Wedding DJ to Data-Driven Business

The ability to manage metadata correctly has already made life easier for many people – wedding DJs, for example. With thousands of songs in their catalogues, it proves increasingly difficult to remember the album an aunt’s song request comes from and which hit fits in best afterwards.

Metadata can tell a DJ exactly that, but also which mood a song conveys and how fast its beat is. This way, metadata can cause wedding guests to still have fond memories of the evening ten years later.

With the help of metadata management, companies can keep spirits high when it comes to data work and achieve much more than the DJ in this example.

Companies work with far more data from many different sources. It is used for various purposes and across multiple teams. A well-organised company can substantially increase efficiency and effectiveness in data-driven business.

Metadata Management: These Are the Features Your Tool Needs

»Data about data« is usually the explanation for metadata. However, metadata management is really about »data about data sets«. What sounds negligible at first really makes a big difference, namely that metadata management makes large structures comprehensible rather than just piling up data in one place. In addition, there are five other features that a metadata management system should have in order to be an asset to your organisation.

1. Metadata Repository

A metadata management system is meant to be a central place for all metadata related to your business data. Accordingly, the metadata is centrally stored in the »metadata repository«.

There, you can find answers to these and many other questions:

  • Which fields and types of data does a data set encompass?
  • Which systems produce data?
  • Where is the data stored?
  • What security information exists on the data?
  • Who is responsible for the data set?

2. Business Glossary

More than just a reference work – a business glossary defines the standards of your data set’s technical fields. It applies to the entire company. It does not only contain information that helps you understand your data. The business glossary is much more than that: the definitions in it are practically corporate law – again, conveniently gathered in one place.

3. Data Lineage

Companies process and utilise data in multi-step processes. This stands at the core of data-driven business. For this reason, these processes should be taken out of the black box they are often in. »Data lineage« makes these processing and utilisation steps transparent and tells you which information a certain data set is based on.

4. Search Functionality

This feature comes as no surprise: a central search function. This helps you reach your goal in the metadata repository more quickly. Define the criteria for your search and find what you are looking for – as long as you have the authorisation to do so.

5. Rule Management

Rule management helps companies stay in control of who has which rights and permissions regarding data sets. As with the four previous points, you should not make any compromises here either.

Metadata Management: More Features and Alternative Solutions

Those were the basics. Since metadata management systems have been on the market for several years, some of them already come with further sophisticated features. What this means for you is that some systems make data maintenance much easier. Some are even automated – and that saves valuable resources.

Alternatively, data catalogue tools now also offer a similar range of features. A glance into history shows that the tools were originally focused on letting companies search through and manage their data sets. However, since then, the amount of features has grown significantly. This means that you have a wide range of systems to choose from to find the solution that best suits your company.

Metadata Management: An Essential Component of Data-Driven Marketing – Download the White Paper for Free Now!

Data-Driven Marketing White Paper

Comprehensive management of your company’s metadata lays the groundwork for successful data-driven marketing. Our »Data-Driven Marketing« white paper shows you how the right data can simplify your marketing decisions and help you become more relevant and visible to your customers. Fill out the form now and receive a free copy in your inbox!

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