The set of data of all types that are collected and stored every day by the various departments within a company is what we could call the « information asset » of the company. This asset is the engine on which the company is based to carry out its projects and achieve its objectives.
It has already been established that raw data is of little value in itself (read more here) and therefore could be considered as the foundation of a 5-story building. Information asset is the ground floor and as such must be completely mastered to support the construction of the 4 upper floors that will lead the company to efficiency and operational excellence :
- The information : born from a set of data agglomerated for a specific purpose, it gives the latter a meaning for the user. Assuming the data is stored in a system (database), the information is the source and the result of the computer applications that have access to the data.
- The knowledge : the understanding by the user in turn gives birth to knowledge, that is to say an « exact » interpretation of the information according to context. This knowledge will be used to decide or act. In other words, knowledge gives value to information.
- The wisdom : the knowledge previously acquired will then be shared, used and passed on to other users. It is at this stage that the « know-how » - of which the companies are rightly very proud of - is created.
- The skill : this is the top floor of the building. Skill - or competence - rests on two pillars that must exist simultaneously : knowledge or « expertise » on the one hand, and on the other hand the « power » or authority to act or decide according to context or on a specific topic.
The durability of the building depends on the foundations, that is to say the control that the company has on its data. This control can only be achieved through metadata and their management must be based on a governance perspective which is inseparable from the overall vision of the company.
What about metadata ?
What is metadata ? « It's data about data. » In truth metadata are to data management what data are to process management : the base on which the building rests.
In practice metadata define, describe and contextualize each piece of data in its technical, organizational and « business » environment. The metadata also tell about the uses that are made of the data.
Rever's technologies answer the need for data management and governance by addressing the issue from the angle of metadata - allowing, among other things, the identification and finding of each data in the different information systems (I.S.).
Beyond the simple production of metadata, Rever's technologies also use them in a broader data governance plan throughout the organization and according to business needs (analysis, marketing, etc.).
In fact, a recurring weakness of companies is the dissemination and dispersal of data, each department tending to use its own descriptions in the databases, which quite rapidly produces a real dissonance of data that is particularly observed regarding data quality.
Data management through metadata allows to overcome this weakness, significantly improves the « IT-business » relationship and enhances the company's digital trust potential.
This approach translates into action by setting up a metadata dictionary (or repository) which is used in particular to :
- identify changes in data and draw the required conclusions
- remove contextualization information from data for the users' benefit
- (re)place semantics on data
- describe the relationships between data
In future blog entries, we will discuss the problems of semantics and relationships between data, among other things.