Since last three years I have been working on multiple tools that manage Metadata. It is becoming more evident to me that many business folks do not realize the value of Metadata. The decision that they make is based on the actual data, and why to bother about the metadata? Here is a story that demonstrates that how much can bad information cost an organization?
On December 11, 1998 the Mars Climate Orbiter was launched. Engineers calculated rocket firing using feet-per-second. But the Orbiter was programmed in meters-per-second of thrust (The difference: 4.4 feet per second).
“Each time there was a burn (rocket firing) the error built up”, said Art Stephenson, Director of the Marshall Spaceflight Center and Head of the NASA Investigation Team. “We entered the Mars atmosphere at a much lower altitude (than planned),” said Ed Weiler, NASA’s chief scientist. “It (the Orbiter) either burned up in the Martian atmosphere or sped out (into space). We’re not sure which happened.”
So what was the loss? One may argue that it does not matter to me whether there is water on Mars or not, let me fix the problems on Earth first :-). But can you imagine being the one who had to explain to the boss you used feet instead of meters that costed this 300 million $ ? Therefore people say, Metadata is like insurance. Its one of those things that no one really realizes how much it saves you in costs until you have the accident.
Since I have your attention now, let us see what is Metadata?
* UPC label
Metadata within integration projects is just as critical to understand the design, usage and relationships between application objects. For example, the following are considered metadata:
- The description of a database table
- The relationships between database objects
- The definitions of the columns in the table
- The data types of the table’s columns
- The derivations that transform the columns
Metadata enables you to put context and meaning to things. It is generated and used by each organization and software product.
Metadata describes various facets of an information asset in order to improve its usability throughout its life cycle. Metadata management is about the organization’s management of its data and information assets to address use cases such as data governance, analytics and enterprise metadata management (EMM). It is important to note that this understanding of metadata goes far beyond just technical facets; it is used as a reference for business-oriented and technical projects and builds the foundations for information governance and analytics.
So long… I will share types of metadata and how to integrate metadata in the upcoming series.