What is Metadata Strategy?

Is your organization facing issues with data quality management? Poor quality data can lower your organization’s trust in your data. This leads to missed opportunities and wasted resources. You can improve data quality by first focusing on metadata. Creating a metadata strategy adds vital information to the data you collect. A solid strategy will help your team better organize, analyze, and use data. Keep reading to learn about metadata management and how it can be beneficial to your business.

What Does Metadata Mean?

Data is information you can collect, such as measurements, facts, or observations. Metadata is information about a specific piece of data. For example, if you have an image file, this is a piece of data. The metadata is information about the file, which could include author name, file size, and data.

What is Metadata Used For?

Metadata is used to make working with data easier by adding descriptive information about each piece of data. It lets you better understand the data you’re collecting by adding context. You can use metadata to organize and standardize your data so your team can search, sort, and pinpoint the data they need. Let’s say you’re looking for a particular book on a full shelf. Without metadata like the author or title, each book looks the same. You won’t be able to find the specific book you need without looking through the whole shelf. By adding metadata like titles and authors, you can easily scan the shelf for the book you need.

What is a Metadata Management Strategy?

Just like when you’re dealing with data, you need a plan in place to get the most out of metadata. Simply adding random pieces of information to your data without a strategy doesn’t improve its usability. Instead, you might collect additional information that could actually make it more difficult to sort through data sets. Metadata Strategy Definition: A metadata strategy is a plan you create to collect and apply metadata. It details the processes and policies your organization will use when working with metadata. Think of it as a roadmap that tells your organization what metadata needs to be collected, how to apply it to data, and how to use it when working with data.

What to Include in a Metadata Strategy

For your metadata strategy to be successful, you need to determine the how, why, and who of your metadata plan. While each metadata plan is unique to the organization creating it, there are certain aspects that should be included in every plan. You’ll get the most out of your management plan by answering:
  • What type of metadata is collected?
  • Who is in charge of managing metadata?
  • What are the benefits of the plan?
  • How will metadata be collected, used, and stored?

3 Key Benefits of Metadata

Most business owners recognize the importance of collecting and using data to improve their organizations. However, they may not realize how attaching metadata could improve overall data quality by making data easier to use. In order to use metadata successfully, you need to have a metadata management strategy in place to standardize your metadata. If you know what pieces of metadata are attached to each type of data, you can gain these benefits of metadata:

1. More Efficient Use of Data

Users who don’t have to access each piece of data when they’re searching through a data set save time when putting together reports or analyzing data. Metadata makes it easy to sort through a large amount of data efficiently. For example, if an employee is looking for invoices from a certain year, they can search through a database to find files created during that specific year and filter out files from outside of their date range.

2. Improved Data Quality

Poor data quality leads to lower confidence in the data you collect. If you don’t trust your data when making data-based business decisions, it becomes obsolete. Using metadata helps make your data more consistent and standardized. For instance, you can use metadata to help eliminate duplicate data. When using metadata to sort and search through data sets, users can easily find and delete duplicate records.

3. Increased Transparency and Employee Accountability

Metadata helps show the origin and life cycle of a piece of data. This helps your organization track where data is coming from, how it’s used, and where it’s stored. You can use this increased transparency to improve employee accountability for a more engaged workforce.

Create a Metadata Strategy with 5P

Want to learn more about metadata and create a management strategy for your organization? We can help you understand the importance of metadata management and how it could improve your business. Get started by signing up for a free consultation where we’ll discuss your business and its data quality goals.

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