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What is the Connection Between Metadata Tools and Data Governance?

17 Sep, 2020  |  By PeerNova   |  Published in Articles,

The Connection Between Metadata Tools and Data Governance

With the increasing amount of enterprise data and the explosion of big data technologies, firms must focus on managing their assets through effective data governance and management. Because reliable data is the foundation for operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, and better business decisions, it is vital that enterprises invest in understanding, organizing, and cataloguing their data assets.

What is Metadata?

Data can be extremely complex, undergoing transformations and manipulations over time as it moves across the enterprise landscape. Metadata, or data about the data, helps enterprises summarize and understand particular attributes of their evolving datasets.

For example, consider a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet consists of more than just the data itself, it also contains metadata; column names, table names, tab names, file names, user comments, tab permissions, who opened the file last and when, etc. If you click certain cells, you may see that the entry is a result of a programmed equation or rule. All of these fields are in fact metadata, which will help viewers understand the spreadsheet as a whole.

On an enterprise level, metadata is extremely valuable because it provides context and background on data that can be used to increase productivity, meet industry regulations, and provide business insights to guide decision making. Therefore, it becomes key that firms implement an effective metadata tool into their overall data governance and management strategy.

What do Metadata Tools do?

Metadata tools ensure that the metadata is properly created, defined, stored, and controlled across the enterprise. The most effective metadata tools include features such as data catalogs, business glossaries, data lineage, impact analysis, rules management, metadata repositories, and more. In fact, the enterprise metadata management market is projected to hit USD 9.34 billion by 2023 (Source). Enterprises are quickly realizing the importance of metadata management to successfully aggregate and manage their metadata effectively.

Improving on Current Metadata Tools
While there are a variety of metadata management solutions currently on the market, many of them need improvements due to the following:

  • Certain datasources, applications and tools were not designed to work together to provide end-to-end insights and functionality.
  • Disparate technology stacks are not interoperable with one another.
  • Business context is limited, as each tool exposes only those aspects of metadata and data that are relevant for that tool. This results in incomplete and fragmented views .
  • Manual steps are required in the workflow to stitch together the missing functionality across these tools. These extra steps are extremely costly and error-prone. Users typically have to log in to many tools and do complex functions and transformations in order to gain insights or perform root cause analysis of defects and data quality issues.
  • There is an inability to gather end-to-end metadata information from a variety of data sources, business processes, and data operations to ensure effective data governance, correct regulatory reports, or make timely business decisions.

Most metadata tools today focus on documentation, and require business users to manually create, update, and maintain business rules, catalogs, dictionaries, and glossaries. Additionally, these solutions may not automatically perform data quality checks across sources, workflows, and applications. As a result, silos of inconsistent metadata are created, preventing users from having end-to-end (E2E) visibility and trust in their data.

Benefits of Effective Metadata Tools
However, with an effective metadata tool or management solution in place, firms can gain a variety of benefits, including:

  • Increased data quality
  • Improved risk management by maintaining an audit trail for regulatory compliance
  • Increased operational efficiency and reduced cost
  • Accurate insights and analytics for better decision-making

By implementing a successful metadata management process, business and IT users can easily work together to verify the data, determine where it came from, if it changed along the way, and how it got to its current state. By trusting their data, business users can confidently gain actionable insights and analytics to make better business decisions, provide data traceability and lineage for compliance, and switch from manual to automated processes for efficiency.

The Connection Between Metadata Tools and Data Governance

Metadata management is a significant part of a successful and holistic data governance model. But remember, data governance is a set of practices, policies, and capabilities that ensures that high-quality data exists throughout the complete lifecycle of data (regardless of where it resides in the enterprise). Therefore, to be successful at governing data, firms must have a strong understanding of the data’s context, journey, and end-to-end lineage.

Metadata tools themselves do not provide data quality, or enforce policies and business rules. Metadata tools provide a documentation repository, but data governance enforces any rules, controls, or policies. Ultimately, if metadata management is flawed, it trickles down the pipeline to affect data governance and data management strategies.

PeerNova’s Cuneiform Platform: Providing Active Data Governance and Metadata Management

The PeerNova® Cuneiform® Platform provides both active data governance and metadata management, while ensuring E2E data quality across the enterprise.

The solution automates the creation and management of metadata, which is normally a resource-intensive process. It automatically generates and updates metadata catalogs, dictionaries, and glossaries, so that data is always up-to-date and in sync across the enterprise. The platform also provides metadata and workflow support.

PeerNova’s solution perpetually runs data quality rules to ensure data adheres to quality standards. Meanwhile, the platform creates exception reports of any data that does not pass Data Quality and Timeliness Rules, helping firms solve these exceptions and define the root cause(s).

Additionally, the Cuneiform Platform provides E2E visibility that helps business users gain key insights, analytics, and metrics surrounding their data. With a zero-code approach to configuring and managing the framework, the solution can be easily integrated into any environment.

If you are interested in learning more about how the Cuneiform Platform can help with your metadata management, please get in touch with us and request a demo today. You can also watch the supplemental video featuring PeerNova’s Founder and CEO, Gangesh Ganesan.


Five Capabilities to Look for in a Metadata Management Solution. Dataversity. Link.



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