Sunday, March 6, 2016

Understanding the Value of Data Inventory

As part of the second post in the series "Enabling Data Driven Organizations", the focus of this post is about understanding the value of the data inventory.  While hinted in the previous post, the exposure of the data inventory does drive motivation to complete metadata, the value of this information has is so much more.

Once you have the four major object types (reports, data sources, data movement jobs, and business terms), there is so much value that this unlocks.  

  • Clean up Environment - being able to understand the entire inventory of reports, tables and more across multiple systems, this allows you to get a global picture and clean up unused, duplicated, or un-needed content.  This helps ease strain on systems as well as just good overall clean up.
  • Decrease Discovery Process - being able to search and discover tables for content that is new to you, will decrease the time to understand of where data is and increase speed to deliver.
  • Reduce Duplicate Work - being able to understand what exists already, will reduce re-creating an existing (or similar) reports, tables, and more.
  • Mosts Popular & Unused - being able to understand the most used (and least used) reports and tables and help direct new hires as well as drive consistency across teams.
  • Audits - being able to reduce time on audits / reports on the inventory, who has access to the content, who has ran the report / table, etc.
  • Lineage - being able to increase knowledge / trust on where the data came from upstream on a particular reports or table. 
  • Impact Analysis - just like lineage, being able to understand downstream impact from a particular table will help keep focus when issues arise with the table or when you want to decommission that table.
  • Team Activity Tracking - being able to track how much content is being created, modified, and deleted by teams is a create way to track the impact of the team.
All of these are great examples of the value of exposing the data inventory (and usage).  Having this information readily available to make decisions, discover content, increase knowledge, or audits, provides an amazing amount of value.  Whether it decreases time to find information or allows you to focus on the impact a particular table has, this allows you (and your teams) to be much more efficient and be truly "data driven".


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