Metadata tools

To understand metadata tools we first need to define what metadata is.


According to the dictionary metadata is a set of data that will describe and give information about other data.

Wikipedia go on to describe meta data as data describing data.

The types of metadata

There are several types of metadata and these are:-

  • Descriptive metadata
  • Structural metadata
  • Administrative metadata
  • Reference metadata
  • Statistical metadata

Naturally each one has a specific function.

  • Descriptive metadata is used for discovery and identification and includes elements like author, keywords and title.
  • Structural metadata indicates how compound data is put together. An example of this would be how pages are ordered to form a catalogue.
  • Administrative metadata helps to manage a resource.
  • Reference metadata gives more information on content.
  • Statically metadata gives more information on the statistics of the data.

About metadata tools

Knowing the types of metadata you can understand the need for all of this data to be structured and standardized.

This is done through metadata standards, metadata models and a variety of metadata tools.

Some of these tools include :

  • Data dictionaries
  • Metadata registries
  • Taxonomies
  • Controlled vocabularies
  • Thesauri

What are metadata tools?

Metadata tools are thus a set of tools assisting you in your metadata creation.

There are a number of tools and some might assist you to select a controlled vocabulary whilst others combine functionalities to deliver a fully supported meta schema.

One of these data catalog tools is Alation.

About Alation

Alation is a data catalog software.

This software, which offer you a demo trial, will find, understand and govern your data.

By doing so it will assist you to improve the productivity of analysts, drive confident, data driven decision making within your organisation and empower your company to govern your data securely.

But how does Aliation do this ?

Aliation indexes a wide variety of data sources to allow for behavioural intelligence encouraging decision making on sound data.

Through Aliation you will be exposed to a wide access of trusted data and have the ability to foster seamless collaborations.

And because Aliation connects to a huge range of data sources through BI , you are able to streamline your analytics.

By using the Aliation tool you will be able to approach the governing of your data with a business-like stance.

In conclusion

Whilst there are many tools avaliable to catalog your data it is important to choose those with your organisations needs and business approach in mind.

You may want to look at a feature comparison chart to determine the correct tools you should use in your business.

These charts often list the following :-

  • Software
  • Type of application
  • Platforms supported
  • Data formats
  • Metadata schema
  • Research subjects

Other features to compare to when looking at metadata tools are the following:-

  • Links to download
  • Instillation instructions
  • Documentations
  • User guides

Remember that when choosing an effective metadata strategy, it should essentially make your data easy to search for, be located easily and it will support your governance and your analytics.

Therefore, your chosen metadata management data and tools should assist you to ensure that your data is delivered and described consistently throughout your business andino turn provide you with a common language and taxonomy for your enterprise data.

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