This is the first article in a series blog I will be updating regularly. I will discuss the many aspects of metadata management including pitfalls and the secret sauce to successfully starting, leveraging and making use of the valuable metadata buried within your IT infrastructure.
IT folks all know and believe that metadata management is a key dependency for projects such as master data management, data quality, data governance, data warehousing and business intelligence efforts.
However, many metadata projects die on the vine or fail and here are some of the main reasons we’ve seen as to why that happens.
- With data to day issues, starting a metadata initiative just seems too strategic, difficult.
- Very difficult to get budget and buy in. Unfortunately IT folks are not sales people.
- Management has no idea what this “metadata” is all about and how it helps them.
- Perceptions that it would require too much effort and that our systems are so special it just won’t work.
- Fear of “who is going to maintain all of this?”
- The industry itself has a unique talent for over-complicating the issue.
- IT tends to get bogged down in technical metadata over analysis.
- RFP’s (this is a big one) we see the same 10 year old RFP metadata template floating around which do not address the discovery required to get at the paint points and problems to be solved. They favor the biggest vendors. We often walk away from these RFP’s.
- Failure of the client to engage a vendor for help early in the process. Particularly in the requirements gathering phase. Experts are there to help.
- Metadata is an afterthought, just like documentation is to development efforts.
Why is leveraging your metadata so important?
- Aid developers and technical people in sourcing information.
- Determine the impact of making system changes.
- Capture metadata from legacy system.
- Identify redundant processes.
- Data governance and regulatory compliance.
- Help new employees learn technical systems.
- Allow business users to navigate, find and analyze information , specifically how it relates to other pieces of information.
- Classify information for improved search and navigation to the right information.
- Provide documentation to other business units.
- ETL projects. (I’ve seen integration Project blow budget by 20 million.)
- Too many to list here.
However, Metadata is Being Leveraged Successfully
- Intel claims 6 dollars for every dollar spent ROI on metadata management initiative. Intel Metadata Case Study – the combined repository will helps cut the time — which can peak at 30% of a developer’s day — it takes for developers to find information assets.
- SOA would not exist without metadata.
- Master data is driven by metadata.
- The .NET framework is metadata driven.
- XML is metadata rich!
- Many working implementations and examples out there.
Please stay tuned for the next blog in this series. I will be covering metadata in detail, including strategies to get started in your environment.