To understand the concept of data catalog, we need an assessment of the fundamentals that constitute the process on an elementary level. At the most rudimentary stage lies the idea of arrangement and the order of things.
The data catalog is a metadata management tool that aids business corporations to the source, organize, and manage piles of data from various data points related to the organization. Now metadata sounds too technical for a layman right?
Let’s simplify a bit here for those of us who are far from tech geeks. In the simplest terms, metadata provides a concise description of the main content, which could be in any form. Metadata management is a combination of science and art behind the process. It also aids in creating a contextual picture for the data being searched.
By now, you must be thinking that the data catalog seems like a data dictionary, but it’s far more advanced than that in terms of searching and retrieving data. Building a great data catalog requires a thorough analysis of the intended usage and the user base.
The Benefits of Using a Data Catalog
As organizations expand, the need to diversify and branch out becomes indispensable. This expansion leads to numerous value additions and in turn, create numerous data points. The classification of data points into sub-segments is vital to obtain a dynamic facet of information.
The increasing operations of the company leads to an increase in data accumulation from the same source. On the other hand, the diversification of business segments creates new venues for data accretion. The benefits of this data accrual can only be obtained if a structured format exists to source the information needed in the future.
In the contemporary, what’s trending today is obsolete tomorrow, so time is of the essence, the right information at the right time is the real deal. This data demand-supply gap in real-time is addressed by using the data catalog system that helps to organize data, and presents the information in a systematic and well-organized layout.
Information is power, but only when it’s contextual and made available at the right time. Companies use data to obtain insights about the prospective customer, which in turn helps them to make products more in alignment with the needs of the customer and also to help prepare their advertising pitch accordingly. That’s just one of the several scenarios of contextual playing with the data.
Data catalog helps the business people to get a better perspective of the sourcing and distribution of data throughout the data supply chain in a precise way enabling synergy between the IT and business personnel of an organization.
Leveraging Data Governance to Create and Maintain a Data Catalog
In an era where data drives the future of mankind, the demand for data is at its peak. The need to obscure it from the masses can be easily understood. We are surrounded by tons and tons of data points and data sets from the respective points.
Now some data might be personal or classified, some of it might be for a particular practice, so the need to store and make it available for the intended user is utmost.
This is where data governance comes into play. Data governance can be understood as the guidelines that help in maintaining the use and availability of data sets for different users. It entails a well-defined set of procedures and also information regarding execution of the same.
The data catalog is all about organizing and maintaining the data sets. We can’t categorize or arrange a data set without a guideline; the degree of subjectivity is enormous because of the context in which the data is used. To help provide a planned structured with the Dos and Don’ts, the data governance tools play a key role.
Data governance also sets accountability for users using a particular data set as to how it can be used and defines the restrictions that are imposed on its usage.
The role of data today is not for mere tracking of the events but to provide insights into the future based on the previous records. Data is the bridge between today and a better tomorrow. In a general trend of things data is used now to assess past performance, make predictions about future trends, and employ strategies based on the predictions to achieve the goals. In order to benefit from this advancement we need to structure and organize data sets into usable formats, The data catalog helps to fulfill that objective with proper deployment of data governance which sets the general guidelines for the usage of data and defines the Dos and Don’ts of the process.