Metadata management is the control of data that helps define other data. It uses the metadata created when other points of data are entered into a system to help categorize data and make it easier to find for users across an entire organization.
The creation of metadata happens whenever data is created, added to a data organization system or moved. As an example, think of an Excel document, which holds many points of data in the file. If you look at the file from an operating system, you will be presented the metadata that was created when the document was saved such as the date it was created, when it was last modified, who created the document and how large the document.
Proper metadata management also helps to reduce redundancies, as identical datasets can be identified to improve efficiency.
Successful metadata management depends on organizations using shared terms that are clearly defined. By eliminating departmental variations on how data is defined, important information can be accessed by anyone, and is not dependent on a specific employee’s knowledge. This contributes to the goal of metadata management, which is to streamline the process of locating and understanding data. This makes the data a business asset that can be used by everyone on the BI team to make informed decisions.