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Data Terms Glossary

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Data Discovery

What is data discovery?

Data discovery is the process by which users can locate relevant information for business use, analysis and insights across multiple data systems.

Why has the data discovery process become important?

Data is one of a business’s most valuable assets – assuming the business can actually derive the benefit from it. (If you own a gold mine, but you have no way of getting the gold out, it turns from an asset into a nothing.) With the explosion of data sources and systems being used by the average business, finding the information you want or need has gotten much more complicated, while simultaneously much more critical for business success. 

One of the trends in utilizing the asset of data is data democratization: making using and deriving insights from data into the domain of everyone in the business, not only the professional IT, BI or data specialists. Effective data discovery is a critical component in a data democratization strategy; the ability of the average user to leverage data as an asset is directly proportional to their ability to engage effectively in the data discovery process.

What are the characteristics of a good data discovery platform?


If you need a BI team to manually prepare and enter your data into the data discovery platform, you’re going to be wasting lots of time and opening the door to human error. An automated data discovery platform has the ability to automatically connect to and integrate the information from across your data landscape. This enables a smooth, seamless process and saves countless work hours. Automated data discovery platforms are usually based on metadata discovery


The average business user’s point of access to your company’s mounds of data will be through a search function. When they type in what they’re looking for, what do they get? Are the results comprehensive? Targeted? Helpful? A good data discovery platform’s search function should be as easy and intuitive to use as searching an online marketplace for a product you wish to buy.

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