A data catalog takes all of the data generated by a company’s different systems and departments, such as finance, human resources and enterprise resource planning and puts it in one place. Data in the catalog is paired with important details about the data such as a profile and data lineage along with any notes applied to it. The catalog is designed to both give a comprehensive view of data for analysis and to make individual bits of data easy to find.
To build a data catalog the first step is to begin collected metadata from all available databases. A data dictionary is either built specifically for each individual data catalog or can be uploaded if one already exists. Find the right people in the departments whose data will be added to the catalog to assist in completing the project and pick a pilot program to evaluate implementation.
Define relationships between data sources. Once these connections have been established a consolidated view of the data being held about the same subject by different department becomes clear and the data catalog becomes a tool for better analysis of data already held. Establishing lineage within the catalog is the next priority. Lineage helps discover where any errors in reporting originate from.
A data organization standard should be set. This can be done many ways, but effective options are usually though tagging or usage. There are also automated algorithms that can help with this process. The catalog should be easy to access to encourage usage but still protected with proper security protocols.