Metadata Management

You need to know what metadata is to understand metadata management. Metadata is any data you collect about other data in your system (and provides context for data elements), such as where it’s stored, what group it belongs to, how specific business terms are defined, etc. Therefore, metadata management is a way of defining processes for dealing with this data type, from its analysis to labeling and classification.

For example

If your data catalog stored information about the data quality of particular datasets, this could be viewed as metadata. You would then need metadata management principles to determine who has access to this metadata, where it’s stored, what it’s used for, how it’s classified (i.e., what is good and bad quality), etc.

Metadata management is usually performed by reading and processing all of your informational assets. It can be time-consuming to comb through all of that information, so it’s usually derived from automated processes in the data catalog. Companies will set up rules or expectations for the metadata they want to extract and perform those protocols automatically on all incoming data. Not only will this provide valuable information about the data you have stored, but it will also help organize the entirety of your company’s data. 

Managing your metadata effectively can have several benefits for your organization. Firstly, it will help improve your overall data quality. Next, it will make your data more usable by having better labeling and organization. Metadata management will help make your information more adaptable by creating universal definitions and governance for metadata terms. Finally, having well-defined metadata will aid in search functions for your organization and make all of your data more discoverable.