What is Metadata?
Metadata summarizes other data, or in other words, it is data that provides information about several other sets of data. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of what data represents and how it can be utilized across the business, users refer to metadata for key insights.
Organizations refer to metadata to determine what other data is, when and where it was created, how it’s been altered, who has access to it, and who owns it. This information is useful to organizations to better identify and improve governance initiatives, regulatory compliance demands, and data management processes.
Data management relies on metadata to classify, organize and label data to make it easier to sort and search for data. Without the information provided by metadata, the amount of data itself would be too vast to sort through efficiently.
Metadata is approached, collected, and managed from three different perspectives so that all users can understand it. Companies rely on these various perspectives to support different business processes.
The three perspectives are:
1. Physical Metadata: machine-generated
- In which system data resides
- The schema
- Table and column or key-value level of details
2. Logical Metadata: how data is linked to form larger sets
- How data flows through systems and processes
- From creation, to storage, transformation, and consumption
- Establishes a roadmap on data’s path through the data supply chain, including its usage and alterations over time
3. Conceptual Metadata: data explained in a business context
- Provides critical information about data usage
- This metadata comes from people, which makes it difficult to collect and update because it requires human intervention and management processes to do so
Why is it important to understand metadata from these three perspectives?
Metadata ensures that organizations can manage, filter, and understand the vast amount of data that they rely on for insights in an efficient manner. When coupled with an integrated company-wide data governance program, organizations can build a comprehensive metadata glossary, secure a metadata management solution, and provide all users with trustworthy data.
How Precisely Can Help?
Precisely offers Data360 Govern to establish a strong governance framework to proactively find, understand, and manage your data for better business outcomes based on trusted data.