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What are the business benefits of metadata management?

As data culture continues to boom, metadata management has become increasingly important. We’ve put together some key benefits a metadata management solution can bring to your business, to show its true potential.

Metadata is ‘data about data’. Metadata management gives you the frameworks, processes, and tools to understand the context of that data.

Without reliable metadata management, an organisation doesn’t know what data it has, what it represents, where it originates, how it moves through systems, who has access to it, etcetera.

So, let’s get to the good part… we’ve put together some key benefits a metadata management solution can bring to your business, to show its true potential.

Increased value and confidence in your data

As data culture continues to boom, metadata management has become increasingly important. Companies have begun relying on data to guide their business’ strategic decisions and are treating data as a crucial asset.

But in order for that asset to be useable, you need to be able to have complete confidence in the information you’re working with.

Metadata management gives the context to each piece of data, so you have all the necessary information to trust that specific data set – including where it originated from, why it exists and exactly how relevant it is – metadata gives you the confidence to make those critical business decisions.

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Once you have a process in place to manage your metadata, more teams and people will be able to benefit from seeing and using the information provided. Repeat use of master data means that the sources of that data will become a much more valuable asset, and your business in turn will benefit from the reliance on accurate and contextualised data insights.

The value of the data increases with the more confidence you can hold in it… so it’s a no-brainer that having clean, accurate and digestible metadata will enable you to have more trust in each piece of data, and increase its value to your business.

Upping your efficiency

Companies are both generating and consuming data in huge quantities. Consequently, understanding the context of data has become vital for data governance and general management.

It’s easy to get bogged down in large data sets that have been gathered from multiple sources, without knowing the value of that specific data. A proper metadata management framework helps organise the specifics of each piece of data will not only improve an organisation’s general productivity, but also make it more efficient.

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Most organisations want to become as efficient as possible, savings costs where they can. So as data landscapes grow, and organisations require new data, being able to interpret that data with ease and efficiency will help lend a hand to unnecessary time and resource spend trying to understand the volumes of data being generated.

Alongside general efficiency, metadata management can improve your operational efficiency, allowing you to identify and remove redundant data and processes within your organisation.

An asset for the entire business

Metadata is all about enabling and empowering different groups of stakeholders to search, query and understand everything they need to know about their data. It’s about adding transparency to complex data ecosystems and enabling people to use simple processes and tools to understand the “data about data”.

Metadata management, quite literally, can get people throughout your organisation speaking the same language.

Do your sales and finance teams have the same view when it comes to, say, a definition of a “customer”? Being able to give standardised definitions in a glossary of metadata management will mean that the whole business can be aligned, and communicate clearly without misunderstanding each other or making easily resolvable mistakes.

Improving business and IT communications sets metadata management as an asset for the entire business to utilise, but also means the burden of responsibility can be spread more evenly. Most companies have certain individuals with a lot of knowledge on particular domains, systems, or data sets – this is where metadata management can come in. It can reduce the dependence on one individual’s expertise of the data, and through proper documentation of metadata, that same knowledge can be shared amongst everyone and the reliance on key people is reduced.

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Obtainable insights

The framework provided by a metadata management solution will give you fast access to important insights.

It will mean there’s no need to waste time trying to understand what a piece of data means, or what a report is actually saying – your metadata management framework should be such that you can quickly search and query any piece of data. But also provide you with information so you know who the experts are if you need to ask further questions.

Some metadata management solutions also include automated discovery and lineage. If these are features in the tool you have chosen, you can get incredibly fast insight into your technical landscape, regardless of the infrastructure.

This type of metadata management gives a clear vision of the flow and lineage data, to see how it is utilised across the organisation, how it flows between systems, and how it impacts the business. The process can also prompt any number of useful actions and questions – a process that would otherwise take a very long time. This view of metadata empowers stakeholders to take ownership and manage responsibilities for data that is relevant in the context of their roles – and helps to build reliable and accurate insights for the business.

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Risk and compliance management

Organisations want to understand what their private and sensitive data is, as well as ensuring regulatory compliances are adhered to, such as GDPR. If you can’t identify the data that needs to conform to these policies and standards, there is a big risk that you are sharing data incorrectly, or that key data is not meeting data quality standards. Having a framework in place to specify which data must abide by specific rules will decrease the risk to your business of being noncompliant with these standards.

At Comma, we combine metadata management with machine learning and human knowledge to create a fully integrated service with our partner Alex Solutions. We can help no matter what stage of your data management journey you are on. Get in touch or download our Metadata Management guide to find out more.

Download our Metadata Management guide

Download our guide, 3 Top Tips to Better Metadata Management, written by Arun Chandar, Head of Data Services at Comma. In this guide he explains how you can realise value from knowing the data about your data.

Download now