Metadata Management is the Foundation of Data Intelligence Applications that Power Business

Metadata Management
Metadata Management is the Foundation of Data Intelligence

When it comes to addressing mission-critical business problems, comprehensive metadata management is a critical capability for any enterprise information management strategy. In the Gartner report “Market Guide for Metadata Management Solutions”, Gartner’s clients stated they want metadata management capabilities in order to address five major use cases: Data Governance, BI & Analytics, MDM, SOA, and Enterprise Metadata Management. Informatica’s metadata management strategy has been focused on supporting these five major use-cases and Gartner has recognized Informatica as a Leader in the first-ever Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions. Informatica’s key strengths include our innovative metadata products and capabilities for maximizing business value with an enterprise data catalog, collaborative self-service data preparation and data governance that leverage a knowledge graph of all enterprise data assets called Live Data Map.

The best way to expose the power of metadata is through a fit-for-purpose user-experience tied to specific use-cases that maximize business value. Informatica’s approach is to provide a common metadata foundation to power data intelligence applications such as Informatica’s Intelligent Data Lake, Enterprise Information Catalog, and Secure@Source applications. There are essentially five enterprise information management shifts related to metadata that are driving the demand for intelligent data applications and solutions:

  • Centralized data control to data democratization – data scientists and analysts don’t want to wait months or even weeks to access data due to centralized IT controls and processes. They expect intuitive self-service tools to access the data they need. Protecting sensitive data and ensuring data privacy and usage are essential to an organizations ability to responsibly use and share data while remaining compliant with industry regulations.
  • Databases to smart devices – With the Internet of Things we’re seeing an explosion in devices and more complex data types that lack metadata compared to relational databases
  • Content to context – When we execute a search or visit a website or app we expect more than a static list of content. We expect relevant information and recommendations based on our context and metadata provides a wealth of context.
  • Past to predictive – Data warehouses and BI reporting have traditionally been based on historical transactions and records – they’re essentially looking in the rearview mirror and stating what has already happened. Today, advanced algorithms can be run at scale to provide predictive and even prescriptive analytics that guide behavior. Applying these algorithms to metadata can yield even more powerful results.
  • Dark data to transparency – there is a ton of data locked away in silos across enterprises – often referred to as dark data. By crawling and scanning these systems and repositories a treasure trove of metadata can be collected to provide much greater transparency, discover data domains, relationships and sensitive data, unlocking these data silos.

These market shifts have driven Informatica to deliver significant metadata management innovations to our customers covering the spectrum of requirements from IT to business. Informatica leverages a common metadata foundation called Live Data Map (LDM) that scales for big data workloads to drive an intuitive user experience. Live Data Map is a knowledge repository with metadata services that is an integral part of the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform – it is not a separate product that we sell. Live Data Map collects metadata from across the Informatica platform, databases, systems, BI and modeling tools and enterprise applications, along with usage statistics. Once in the knowledge repository, Live Data Map metadata services scans and indexes the metadata, profiles and gathers statistics, derives and discovers relationships, powers semantic search, applies machine learning to make recommendations, and classifies and clusters data in multiple dimensions such as asset type, data domains, and more which are rendered in a 360 view of data. These metadata services are exposed through data intelligence applications such as our Intelligent Data Lake, Enterprise Informatica Data Catalog, and Secure@Source:

Informatica Intelligent Data Lake is built on our common metadata foundation to provide self-service data prep with collaborative data governance. What that means is that data scientists and analysts can quickly find data assets in a Hadoop-based data lake, preview the data, see its data lineage, view a 360 view of all the data assets relationships such as data domains, users and usage, and other related data assets, and add them to a collaborative project workspace. Then leveraging our metadata services behind the scenes, data analysts can wrangle and mashup datasets in an Excel-like user interface which records all of the actions so that the steps to create these derivative data sets can be operationalized as a data pipeline which gets deployed to production to feed business-critical processes.

Informatica Enterprise Data Catalog provides a rich set of capabilities for enterprises to manage and maximize the value of their data assets. Enterprise Data Catalog enables business analysts, data architects, and data stewards to easily search and discover data properties, data set patterns, data domains, data lineage and 360 data relationships. It provides advanced discovery capabilities, smart tagging, data set recommendations, metadata versioning, a comprehensive business glossary, and drill down to finer grained metadata. Enterprise Data Catalog provides an enterprise-wide catalog of data assets from a variety of data sources along with the associated business, technical, and operational metadata across organizations.

Informatica Secure@Source is another data intelligent application leveraging our common metadata foundation Live Data Map. Secure@Source enables security analysts to discover, classify, and score sensitive data across the enterprise. Data security intelligence dashboards monitor sensitive data protection, proliferation, and usage along with alerts to proactively notify security analysts of suspicious behavior or of specific data security risks based on policies. This provides a more risk-centric approach to protecting sensitive data.

Having a scalable and comprehensive metadata management foundation is what enables Informatica to deliver intelligent data applications that power your business.

Gartner Market Guide for Metadata Management Solutions, Guido De Simoni, Saul Judah, Ehtisham Zaidi, 14 July 2015.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions, Guido De Simoni, Roxane Edjlali, 15 August 2016.

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