Metadata is everywhere. It’s your enterprise magnet to attract dollars. It is there in your data sources, data management tools, and data-driven applications. Enterprise Data Management (EMM) is a crucial aspect of the data-driven world. It helps organizations/enterprises develop better understanding, accuracy, and transparency about data. Statistics predict that the Global Enterprise Metadata Management (EMM) Market to Reach US$8.2 Billion by the Year 2027.
Think about how Google crawls for information. It won’t crawl the entire content. Google might have used several touchpoints to get the exact result. It could be any specific data field or structured data. These touchpoints or data fields are metadata, which serves as the context for your data sets. In a nutshell, when data provides content or reports related to an enterprise’s data assets, metadata gives context-enabled information regarding the data assets to generate value to users.
What is Enterprise Metadata Management?
To put it simply, enterprise metadata is data about data, i.e., who, what, why, when, and how of data. Sounds confusing right? Well, it summarizes information about the content stored in the centralized data system to improve the discoverability of resources. If your enterprise lacks robust metadata, you will suffer from poor search experience.
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The main difference between data and enterprise metadata is that:
- Data is simply content. It can include any sort of information, whereas metadata shows basic and relevant information about enterprise data. For example, if you create a Google Docs file, the content inside the file is data, and the file name, type, and storage description are the metadata.
- In a Database Management System (DBMS), Data is the single items that are stored individually or as data sets. And metadata is the name of attributes, their types, user constraints, integrity information, and storage information that are stored in the data dictionary.
- Data can be raw and processed (not necessarily informative), but metadata is always processed and informative.
Metadata is spread across at every level of your enterprise. It is always a challenge to unify your enterprise metadata to enhance searchability. You need a stellar enterprise metadata management tool to capture business value.
Types of Metadata
1. Descriptive Metadata
Descriptive metadata is the intellectual content that acts as a resource identifier to streamline the identification and discovery of products. Some of the descriptive metadata elements include title, author, date of publication, subject, publisher, and description. It also helps in documenting digital resources and provides specific attributes to describe assets.
2. Structural Metadata
Structural metadata specifies how different digital elements are combined to make data meaningful and relevant to users. It links related content together to build a sequence or structure of data that shares similar properties. Navigation is one of the integral functions of structural metadata. As the name indicates, it builds a structure to the whole data.
3. Administrative Metadata
Administrative metadata helps in resource management. It captures necessary information regarding the creation or acquisition of the data, rights management, and disposition. There are three subsets of administrative metadata:
- Technical Metadata
Technical metadata provides information on the format and structure of the data. It helps software tools understand and process data efficiently.
- Rights Management Metadata
Rights management metadata specify the intellectual property right of digital assets.
- Preservation Metadata
Information that needs to be archived or stored for future reference. It includes elements of administrative metadata, structural metadata, and technical metadata.
Reference metadata provides information on how metadata can be utilized. It includes information on the content and quality of statistical data.
Recommended Reading: Why do online stores need Digital Asset Management?
What Does Enterprise Metadata Management Facilitate Organizations?
Metadata management provides technical and operational context about other data. This contextual information helps to identify:
- What kind of data do we possess?
- Where did it come from?
- Where is it located?
- What are the changes it encountered?
- How is it Utilized?
- How accurate and sensitive is it?
- How to Access it and Who has access to it?
Why is Enterprise Metadata Management Important for eCommerce?
Metadata clarifies your eCommerce website information to the search engine and helps retailers optimize their store for SEO. Poor metadata not only reduces your revenue but also leads to last-minute shopping cart abandonment. If rightly optimized and managed, enterprise metadata help retailers
- Drive traffic and sales to your website
- Generate more page views
- Ensuring an engaged audience
- Boost revenue system
- Amplify content and commerce integration
Enterprise Metadata Management Best Practices
1. Understand the Scope & Prepare a Metadata Strategy
The goal of a metadata strategy is to streamline how metadata will be defined, captured, and processed across the enterprise. A metadata strategy is crucial to improve the discoverability of your enterprise data.
To clearly define a metadata strategy, you need to identify your business goal. Here are some crucial questions you need to find answers to, to arrive at a stellar metadata strategy.
- What kind of information do you intend to use to manage metadata?
- Is there any difficulty in managing metadata?
- What are the current use cases of metadata in your enterprise?
- What are the cases for portraying relationships between metadata objects?
A well-framed metadata strategy will help you augment your business decision and objectives by identifying high-priority activities. Moreover, it will help you link your metadata management efforts to digital transformation efforts.
2. Imbibe Metadata Standards
Every organization needs a common enterprise metadata management standard to ensure a uniform interpretation or usage of data. This means framing a common style guide-agreeing on language, spelling, date format, etc. A key component of metadata is a metadata schema. It defines the overall structure of the metadata, purpose and underlines certain standards for common components. Here are some of the tips you need to focus on while choosing a metadata standard:
There are generic and domain-specific metadata standards
Generic metadata standards are easy to use. But if you need to cover specific information, you should expand it. Dublin Core is one of the generic metadata standards widely adopted. Domain-specific metadata standards have a richer vocabulary, but only specialists in the field can understand domain-specific metadata standards.
3. Keep User Requirements in Mind
Always choose a metadata standard that makes sense to users who are accessing and using it. It is always ideal to choose one that helps even amateurs to access and utilize the metadata.
4. Integrate metadata management Tools
The growing importance of centralized data management is one of the reasons for the rapidly increasing metadata management tools market size. The metadata management tools market size is projected to grow from USD 6.3 billion in 2021 to 15.1 USD billion in 2026. Deploying a metadata management tool can help to collect and utilize metadata in a smart way. A tool can act as a data catalog that eases storage and searchability. Moreover, it helps to:
- Confirm consistency and proper data categorization
- Easily maintain inventory of traditional & new data sources
- Eases manual handling complexity
- Ensures data governance, regulatory, and compliance requirements
Now, let’s see some of the metadata management tools you can integrate to streamline metadata management:
3. Apache Atlas
5. Expand Your Strategy Across Organizations
Metadata management should be rolled out across various levels of your organization. It’s not just enough to prepare a strategy; it should be informed to employees across all the levels or specific departments to make sure standards and data governance modalities are identified by stakeholders involved. Communicate your objectives, strategies, and goals across organizations to get input and feedback.
Benefits of Enterprise Metadata Management
Simplify Data Recovery, Data Heritage & Track Data Lineage
Enterprise metadata management helps to structure complex data influx from various sources. It creates an inventory for data storage and helps to monitor data transformation and storage efficiency in the entire data lifecycle. Moreover, data lineage gives visibility to the entire data field in your enterprise.
Maintain Consistency, Productivity & Improve Data localization
Metadata ensures that data is consistently channelized across various departments in an enterprise. It helps to break silos and harmonize data to ensure competitive advantage, revenue & profit. Moreover, it improves SEO by ensuring you are found easily and ranked higher in the search.
Provides A Centralized Knowledge Repository & Track
Implementing an enterprise metadata management strategy will help to preserve the knowledge. Mostly when an employee leaves a company, the metadata knowledge disappears with him. In such cases, a robust metadata management strategy reduces the risk of losing valuable contextual data.
Improves IT Performance & Data Integration
Enterprise metadata helps the IT department understand what data exists and simplifies data impact analysis. Moreover, it improves data integration and eliminates complexities in resource management.
Suggested reading: Master Data Management and Its Suitability for Your Business
Streamline Your Metadata Management to Simplify Data Discovery
In this data-driven business world, metadata plays a key role in powering data capabilities and integrating content and eCommerce. It brings value by enhancing data trust, regulations & privacy, data security, and data quality. It’s high time for marketers to understand metadata management capabilities. It functions as a connector that binds your site and search engine.
Every organization and eCommerce dealers need a digital asset management system to attach enterprise metadata to creatives and digital files. DCKAP PIM functions as an All-in-one-PIM that provides a centralized data repository for all product data such as product names, SKUs, metadata, specifications, and product media files. To know more about DCKAP PIM digital asset management and end-to-end eCommerce services, drop us a line below.