What is Data Lineage?

Do you ever wonder where specific data comes from, whether it’s still accurate, or up to date? Data lineage answers these questions and protects the quality of data by providing a clear roadmap from where the data originated, what processes it went through, and how data integrity was ensured to provide reliable and accurate insights. 

Why is Data Lineage Important?

With so much information and data entering and circling through an organization, it can be easy to lose track of where it first originated. Data lineage refers to the process of tracking the data and establishing an audit trail through the data's life cycle so that companies can monitor and apply governance standards to the data, from beginning to end. There are two understandings of data lineage that departments within an organization will use: technical data lineage and business data lineage.

Read our blog "The Role of Data Lineage Tools in Business"


Technical Data Lineage

Technical data enables users to follow a data supply chain that identifies where the sensitive data is located, how it changes, who has access, how it's shared and its quality levels, providing them with technical information on how sensitive the data is and it's quality. Data analysts, typically within the IT department, use technical data lineage to quickly track the cause of data quality issues to then mitigate any associated risk. Technical data also:

  • Captures data on the physical level (like schemas, tables, and columns)
  • Ensures regulatory compliance
  • Protects data quality.

Business Data Lineage

Simply put, business data lineage shares visibility into the data management pipeline, providing key insights into how data fits the business and how business outcomes may be impacted based on whether or not the data has been altered or consumed. It allows business users to gain a better understanding of how to produce accurate and reliable business intelligence based on analytics. Business data also:

  • Provides business context around data, helping to establish a data catalog for company-wide use.
  • Enables users who are unfamiliar with coding languages to gather valuable information from the data.
  • Improves efficiency among data users, which streamlines workflows.

How Precisely Can Help

Precisely's Data360 Govern solution will help you establish a strong governance framework to proactively find, understand, and manage your data for better business outcomes based on trusted data.  Learn more about how data lineage empowers data users to pinpoint the cause of data issues and fix them.