How leveraging metadata is enabling better decisions

At Data Agility we’ve always felt as if we’ve done our fair share of work around metadata management but over the past 18 months or so we’ve experienced a real surge of interest. We reckon three things are driving this.

Firstly, more than ever before, metadata has become part of the Australian conversation. Metadata had for many been a rather obtuse topic (I do recall being asked about five years ago by a CEO in an open forum ‘what is metadata?’) but the discussion around the Federal Government’s upcoming access to previously private telephony metadata has made it a lead story.

Secondly, the proliferation of smart phones has led to an often informal education in metadata as we use, for example, the metadata embedded in digital photographs to almost limitless social and business applications. We no longer look at a photograph on a piece of paper and wonder when and where it was taken. Today we apply agreed metadata standards to capture the exact time and place to a digital photograph. And further, we can share the photograph across limitless electronic systems applying the same metadata standards enabling us to view it and understand the data that is captured with it.

The third driver is that data reliability is much more widely understood and metadata has an important part to play in applying reliable data to decision making as we apply common data definitions across systems.

The information and technology community have recognised that device driven digital transformation underpins these changes and that applied metadata is crucial to making decisions using the huge volumes of data being generated by smart phones, blood-pressure monitors, parcel trackers, smart meters, RFID tags, SCADA tags, location services and so on. This community has also recognised that decision making based on reliable data underpins a successful digital transformation.

Our work hasn’t always been called metadata management, amongst other things it’s been described as repositories, registries, data dictionaries, business glossaries and catalogues. Whatever the label, the work we’ve been doing has enabled structured definitions to be created and stored and easily applied to a wide variety of operational, transactional and analytical systems.  We’ve also had a focus on delivering metadata solutions that are easy to use and provide sophisticated search capabilities.

If you’d like to know more about how our clients in the public and private sectors are using metadata to make better decisions in customer service, operations, production, sales and to reduce cost and to be more efficient please get in touch.