- Discover: to find out that things exist
- Locate: to find out where things are
- Request: to ask for something
- Access: to get something – so we can use it
Metadata helps us understand data, including definitions of what it is, how it is used, who owns it, and data quality. Metadata describes the processes and tools that maintain and act on that data. So metadata goes beyond the traditional data dictionary or card catalog, and can describe the entire environment, which we have built to collect, maintain, and deploy our data assets.
Why do we need metadata?
- To ensure proper documentation and preserve critical information
- To help you publicize and support the data or your organization
- So you won’t forget how you collected and processed your own data
- So information is not lost when an employee leaves
- So the data can be used again in the future
- So you can tell if you need other people’s data — and how to use it
- To help your organization share data in a consistent way without duplication
- To preserve the value of the data over time
- To expedite the learning curve for new employees to understand the organization’s data