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What is Metadata?

Jared Hillam

Jared Hillam

November 28, 2010


This short video, will explain what Metadata is and why it's important to businesses.

Related Whitepaper: Goldilocks Guide to Enterprise Analytics

Text from the Video:

Sometimes in the IT world we have names for features and capabilities that seem to be tailored for Business User confusion.  One such word is Metadata.

Admittedly when I first heard this word I struggled to conjure up my rusty Greek prefixes.  However the concept of metadata is actually quite simple.

Metadata is essentially information about data.

Examples of metadata are all around us, especially in our digitally connected world.  So lets give some examples of technical metadata and business metadata.

Imagine our piece of data is a customer ID.  Technical Metadata around that customer ID might be “what table does that ID reside in” or “what kind of data type is it”

However, the metadata most businesses get excited about is Business Metadata.  See, Business Metadata provides meaningful insight to the business about data they’re storing.  Surprisingly, most data does not naturally present itself in a meaningful way to a business.  This is because transaction systems use the data for their own internal workings and not to chat with the business.

This is where Business Intelligence tools enter into the picture.  The most powerful BI tools have sophisticated business metadata design utilities, which allow business definitions to be associated to the data.  In turn, this empowers business people to both interact with and understand what the data is.

Intricity specializes in the design of these systems, and we’ve enabled many organizations with greater insight into their business.  I encourage you to talk with one of our specialists.  So that we can help you transform your raw data into meaningful information.

Jared Hillam, EIM Practice Director

 

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