What are data catalogs, and why should I worry about them?
Without data, we cannot make decisions. Without data, we don’t have a business!
Data is the lifeblood of any successful business, but what exactly is a data catalog and how should you manage it?
Data catalogs are central repositories of information taken from all systems your business uses to store information, key contacts and metadata. The central repository is key to your business, but without proper management, the data is useless when it comes to the day-to-day utilization.
Metadata is data used to describe other data. It is an indexing and search function of sorts
Metadata is the central focus of a great data system. But metadata can only do its job when the data systems themselves are as clean and organized as they can be. However, many businesses fail to keep their data clean and organized, and their business suffers as a result of this negligence.
For those looking for tips on how best to handle their data catalog’s, here are six ways you can do it!
1. Hire a professional
Hiring a professional in the realm of data catalog management is key to the effective running and management of your data systems.
Experts in the field will focus on best practices in metadata to help support and discover data to enrich your business and use of data.
To do this, the professionals will comb your systems looking for inconsistencies and formulate a plan to be implemented that puts in place best practices when pulling vital data in a quicker and more effective manner.
You can’t go wrong with the help of a professional in the field of data catalogs.
2. Assess the data you’ve already stored
Data is only as good as its relevance. A vital step in the management of your data is to look at what you’ve already stored and assess whether it is of relevance to your business’s key outputs.
For example, many businesses are failing to use their data to the fullest because of incomplete data sets.
Moreover, many businesses fail to realize opportunities because they are not aware of all the data they have. This is because the data is not filed in a coherent manner.
Pour over your information stored and look for gaps in the information, or data that is no longer of relevance.
Such data takes up valuable space and is not contusive to the running of your business.
3. Clean up duplicate files
When businesses are not streamlined, or systems are overlooked/forgotten about, this leaves room for any businesses nightmare, and that is duplication.
Duplicated data leads to a waste of time and money. The world-wide data market is worth $53 billion. But a substantial amount of that figure is wasted money.
When you are buying duplicate data, you are wasting money.
4. Assess what data is of greatest importance to your business
In performing an overhaul of your current data, consider what information is of relevance to your current business goals and needs. If your focus is on the 65+ market, then do you really need the extra data on millennials taking up space on the system?
Hanging on to data is okay, but not when it is no longer of any use.
Streamline your data catalogs to weed out the old information and make room for the information that will drive your business on its intended course.
5. Check the software you are using
Data curation software is always changing. With new innovations, comes newer and better ways to organize the metadata and access the data you need to run your business.
When reviewing your data, it would be a good time to review the software you are using.
If the software is lacking in updates, then it is time to consider using an updated tool to organize your companies’ data.
6. Is your data labeled correctly?
In building a database of information, labels are key. You would be surprised as to how many companies do not use adequate labels when storing vital information.
With increased efficiency such as tracking and labeling, you can see how, where, and why your data is being used, thus allowing you to tap into markets that need the data you have at your disposal.
The Bottom Line
Data-driven choices are becoming ever more increasingly important especially with current customer trends and consumers cutting back on overall spending.
Without the relevant information at the drop of a hat, you could miss out on opportunities to grow your business and foster relationships with current clients.
Now is the time to grow your business by giving your data catalogs a much-needed check-up.