Enterprise docs

Metadata management

What is metadata? Metadata comes in many forms. The metadata for a database table, for example, would include the names and data types for each of the columns in the table. But not all metadata is technical information--some of it contains information that makes the data easier to use by data consumers or data analysts. This metadata might not even be stored in your data source at all--it could be kept in spreadsheets or other documents and might have information on:

  • The status of the data - current, approved, deprecated, etc.

  • The lineage of the data - where did it come from

  • The name of the person or persons responsible for managing the data

  • Definitions or common names for the columns in a table

  • Who has access to see or edit the data

No matter where your metadata is stored or what form it's in, it can all be pulled into a data.world metadata catalog and organized in a way for everyone to use it.

Part of the process of configuring your metadata catalog is to identify the people who will be using your metadata and group them by their different needs from it. These groups, or personas, are used to determine what metadata you want in your metadata catalog and how it should be organized. You may or may not have your own terms for the personas in your organization. As we work to model your metadata catalog, data.world will either incorporate your terms or help you define the terms that work best for you

In our demo system we reference four different user groups:

  • Data consumers - The business users in an organization who primarily interact with dashboards and completed analyses of the data.

  • Data analysts - The people who work directly with the data analyzing it and preparing reports for the rest of the organization.

  • Data stewards - The stewards are the people who control the quality of the data and manage access to it. They define the status of the data (approved, deprecated, etc.,) and also ensure the descriptions are complete and useful for the consumers and analysts.

  • System administrators - This group is for the database administrators and others who manage the data itself from storage and ingest to update and validation.

Successful modeling of your metadata requires both the identification and participation of the various personas in your organization in your metadata catalog design process to be successful. The goal is to ensure that the most important information across all groups is available at the top of a catalog page and increasingly technical information comes lower on the page.

To create a new collection of metadata resources, go to your organization's home page and select the + New Collection button at the top right of the collections area:


When you select +New Collection you'll be taken to a dialog where you can name your collection:


After selecting Create, you'll have the option of adding a description to your collection as well as any relevant tags:


You can either skip this step, or make your changes and click the Save changes button. Once your changes have been made your new collection is ready to use.