Your (Data) Family tree

Your (Data) Family tree

As data volumes grow every day, organizations strive to create a confidence level in their data. This is becoming one of the primary tasks of the CDOs (Chief Data Officers) where they work closely with both the business users and the technology providers to ensure the accuracy, completeness and security of the enterprise newly discovered wealth (i.e., data collected/being collected).
Sometimes though, the activity of collecting and validating data sources is like sitting at the holiday dinner table and asking the elders of the family about the family tree – who the ancestors are, where they came from and where they have settled?  Since the family elders sometimes do not have the most “accurate” data of the family tree, we end up with either having conflicting messages or inaccurate picture of the family tree.
I am sure you have seen the commercials about the online software that “collects” some records coupled with user input to create an online family tree for a low fee of $9.99 per month, while providing a DNA test for additional cost.  A common question that is asked is how accurate is this information?  Would you bet your life on it?
Back to our data governance world.  The previous couple of paragraphs tells the story of every CDO who has purchased an expensive enterprise data management tool and asked his/her team to start collecting information about where the data is coming from and where it is going to?
Luckily, there are cases where the “DNA test” can help such as metadata stored in databases, some documentations, shared business vocabulary, taxonomies, ontologies and, technology to business cross-reference documentation.  However, they do not give the complete picture, especially in the cases where data is transformed and not explained or tracked while moving from point A to point B.
CDOs need to invest in the data lineage requirement when building their enterprise data management framework and focus on automating the data collection and tracking of the transformations.  Automation not only provides the speed required for the “governance” part of the CDO position, it also ensures repeatability and the continuous update of the data lineage for your organization’s critical data elements.
Read more about automated data lineage

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