Catalogue Calamity

Susan Andre2022, News

Imagine walking into a library intending to borrow a specific book or books on a specific topic. Where will you start? Probably by consulting the Library Catalogue that contains an inventory of all books. This inventory is prepared based on specific rules to ensure that each individual item can be found. The most obvious and useful sort sequence will include Title and Author. Depending on how flexible the Catalogue is it might allow you to search on Categories, Year of Publication, ISBN number and it could comprise details about Isle and Shelve numbers and more.  If the Catalogue is in disarray (or non-existent) it will be almost impossible to retrieve books.  No more subscribers for a defunct library!

Book Loads of Information

One of the biggest frustrations for data users is finding pertinent information amidst the ever increasing volumes of data.   How can already scant on attention Business Users be helped to find the relevant data / reports/ dashboards / any-piece-of-information-needed in their businesses data libraries more effectively?

Draw the comparison between a brick and mortar Library and a Business Data Library.  A Library Catalogue is akin to a Data Catalogue for a Data Library (or a Data Vault or a Data Warehouse). Business users are in charge of defining which data should be included, the initial rules of how the information must be tagged and referred to in the Data Catalogue. The actual pieces of information do not physically exist inside the catalogue; it contains only pointers to the relevant information.

Any data rich environment will score from implementing a Data Catalogue. Without this helpful aid true Infonomic gain is drastically curbed.   In a well-planned, properly implemented and maintained Data Warehouse the Data Catalogue forms an essential part.

Search and you may find

Whether you are a data consumer, creator or curator: searching and finding information could seriously hamper workload completion and efficiency.

Collaboration between Business groups and Information Services fuel which domains, classification and metadata descriptions are included. The benefits will outweigh the effort injected in setting it up.   Indexed and searchable catalogues support reaching the goal of self-service. Is the ultimate aim of reducing data related burdens finally in sight?

Resist approaching your Data Warehousing project without consideration for all the key aspects. Take caution when implementing a Data Catalogue in isolation. It may very well end in a Data Catalogue calamity!

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