How to Ensure Success with a Data Catalog Tool

Julie SkeenFebruary 1, 2021

e-book: Data Catalog

A data catalog tool synthesizes all the details about data throughout an enterprise, converting information into a business asset. Data catalogs incorporate information from multiple data dictionaries into a simple, easy to digest format. Ultimately, the tool brings clarity and organization to data definitions, synonyms and key business attributes for data users to quickly analyze and improve processes and spur growth. But how do you guarantee success with a data catalog tool?

When an organization decides to dedicate resources for a data catalog, there are four initiatives that ensure success.

  1. Establish a tool for enterprise-wide data understanding
  2. Include leaders from all lines of business
  3. Create a data governance framework
  4. Understand business lineage

Establishing a Tool for Enterprise-Wide Data Understanding 

Data is a valuable commodity. But it is only beneficial if business users can understand data and transform it into useful insights and improved outcomes. Business users want to use their data, but they often avoid it because it’s difficult to decipher.

With data collected, shared and deployed at today’s rapid pace, fostering data understanding among business users is a daunting task. Typically, IT is the only business line to manage and prepare data on such a large scale. However, reliance upon technical resources leaves business users confounded by IT’s tools and technical speak. So, to establish data understanding among business users, organizations need a data catalog tool that speaks business.

Include Leaders from All Lines of Business to Ensure Success with a Data Catalog Tool

Given the current volume and velocity of data, organizations must remove the barriers business users face when analyzing data. At the same time, business users do not possess the technical expertise required to translate an IT data tool into clear analysis in a business context, leading to confusion and aggravation. What is then the solution?  Enterprise data governance which helps organizations to establish cross-departmental communication and create a comprehensive data catalog.

Create a Data Governance Framework to Ensure Success with the Data Catalog

Creating a data catalog is challenging enough. Combine this with the fact that other users across various departments have entirely different views on data. Developing cross-departmental agreement on standard data definitions is an arduous process.

Therefore, by incorporating a data catalog tool in an enterprise data governance framework, organizations streamline communication and collaboration between various business lines and the IT department. In addition, they can embed data quality controls to refresh and monitor data integrity over time. As a result, diverse teams can quickly organize the technical details around data assets into defined, meaningful and searchable business terms to deliver a consistent understanding of data among all consumers.

Another benefit of building a data catalog within a data governance framework, is the uncovering of business lineage.

The Key to Success: Business Data Lineage 

Success with a data catalog tool is about more than just data definitions.

A data catalog also provides business data lineage. Lineage gives business users a full understanding of the flow and dependencies across the enterprise. By following business lineage through a data governance framework, organizations develop standard data definitions and document the information.

Automated 3D lineage technologies can also take the data catalog to the next level. For example, with a data intelligence platform that unites data governance, data quality, data catalog and 3D lineage capabilities, companies can automatically profile data, uncover data patterns and immediately extract metadata descriptors.

By automatically profiling information in the data catalog, organizations can identify and document the relationships data has to business processes. As a result, the catalog provides in context, complete transparency into data and business knowledge around all enterprise information.

Additionally, by including data quality scores alongside 3D lineage, users can quickly measure the impact data quality efforts have against business expectations and trust their data.

A comprehensive data catalog tool with data governance establishes enterprise-wide data transparency. Organizations reduce the risk of data misunderstanding and ensure users are leveraging the right data for the right purposes.

Are you looking for additional information about data catalogs? Check out this e-book:

For additional information about the data catalogs, read this article from Database Trends & Applications:

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e-book: Data Catalog