Over the past several years, the difficulties of data management have steadily intensified. That’s been due in large part to the complexities of big data, cloud hosting, self-service analytics, and tightening regulations. As a result, effective data management has become a top priority for most organizations. But getting there can be a challenge. One essential tool for overcoming these challenges is a data catalog.

Why a data catalog?

Data catalogs were originally introduced to help data analysts find and understand data. Before then, most data analysts worked blind. That is, without visibility into data-set contents, or their quality and usefulness. That meant analysts had to spend much of their time finding, understanding, and re-creating data sets that already existed. With the advent of data catalogs, these issues resolved, because they offered analysts a new way to manage their data inventories and expose their data sets.

Since then, data catalogs have added new functions, becoming more popular and increasingly important. Modern data catalogs continue to meet the needs of data analysts, but their reach has expanded. Today they’re also vital components of data stewardship, curation, and governance.

By touching nearly everyone who works with data, data catalogs create value in new ways, including:

  • Faster analytics
  • Easier collaboration and reuse
  • Increased trust in data
  • Direct answers to business questions with support for natural language queries

Data catalog value

For those just getting started with data cataloging, consider the value opportunities described as fundamental concepts when making the business case for a data catalog. Those already underway with data cataloging can employ these opportunities to maximize its reach and impact. Those working to sustain and grow data cataloging can measure data catalog success with metrics such as:

  • Data analysis time
  • Ratio of time spent in data preparation vs analysis
  • Data catalog ROI
  • Frequency of shared data and shared analysis
  • Levels of trust in data and analysis

Success story
Paradigm worked with the largest US auto lender to enable an enterprise-wide data catalog. This promoted business understanding and adoption of data for management decisioning, reducing audit exposure and lowering project costs.

  • 18% efficiency increase
  • 23% business adoption increase
  • 2-month reduction in acquisition integration

So, what’s next? Data cataloging is an investment that goes beyond software licensing and includes the cost of people time, and projects. Set time with one of our experts to explore the value of a data catalog and ROI possibilities for your organization.