Data lineage presents a map of the data journey or data life span from source to target. There are many important functions of data lineage within a data warehouse. In many industries, proper data lineage is a regulatory requirement that companies must be able to demonstrate. Data lineage is also used to track data assets, and simplify the process of locating any errors that are evident in a dataset originated. Robust data lineage can contribute to measuring the quality of data, for example by identifying a faulty calculation or process in a system that is producing bad information or corrupting other files.
Data lineage is an important metadata function and assists in business intelligence analytics as well. There are two types of common data lineage functions. Business lineage shows the representation of how data has been transformed by business users. Technical lineage maps the movement of applications, data systems and where it is inside the data warehouse.
Modern data lineage tools can also represent data lineage in a visual format. A series of lines and points can be used to create a roadmap of how data moves through the entire organizations, and can reveal any pressure points that could be fixed.