The Role and Value of Metadata
After years of being the stepchild of software development, data is now a top priority. But while data is having its moment in the sun, metadata is still in the shadows, subject to the same abuse and neglect that once plagued its now-famous cousin. Metadata is no longer just a by-product of data management systems; it’s a critical asset in its own right. As such, we need a more precise understanding of metadata and how it relates to the data it describes. This e-book aims to outline the rationale and approaches for managing metadata as a top priority.
> Chapter One: Metadata Is Data, So Manage It Like Data. This chapter explores what metadata is, how it’s used in the modern data environment, and why it’s critical to manage metadata as carefully as we’ve learned to manage data.
> Chapter Two: Active Metadata: This chapter examines the growing importance of active metadata and how it’s used to automate data management functions.
> Chapter Three: Fixing Metadata’s Bad Definition. In this chapter, we propose to fix metadata’s bad definition by defining the objective differences between metadata and the data it describes.
> Chapter Four: Wrangling Metadata. This chapter provides a way to start wrangling diverse and distributed metadata—a new challenge with familiar solutions.
We hope to demonstrate that managing metadata is not a mysterious new challenge. The techniques of the data management toolbox, honed over decades of experience, apply to metadata as well. The chapters below should give you some ideas about how to elevate metadata’s profile in your organization’s data strategy and take practical steps toward managing it proactively.