A data catalog is a critical element for organizations to support their analytical pursuits. Now that more businesses are seeking self-service solutions, having a catalog that supports analytical value is essential.

As analytics industry expert Jen Underwood pointed out, a data catalog is an imperative part of data discovery.

“A good data catalog serves as a searchable business glossary of data sources and common data definitions gathered from automated data discovery, classification and cross-data source entity mapping,” Underwood wrote.

However, this crucial asset doesn’t stop providing benefits at data discovery. An advanced data catalog can help enterprise users go above and beyond, making other, critical insights accessible, including:

Data context

Overall, data discovery is just a starting point when it comes to self-service analytics. A robust data catalog will also offer up other contextual details and information related to the specific data set at hand. This can include elements like:

  • Data lineage, including the original source.
  • Other relevant data sources that could potentially be included in analysis.
  • The relationships with these other data sets.
  • The other ways in which this particularly dataset has been utilized in the past.

In this way, an advanced data catalog can tell users about other datasets that they may have overlooked, as well as the other analytics projects that these informational assets have been included in. These details can be very telling, helping to widen or narrow the scope of analytics, providing more targeted and actionable results.

Data quality

This one is a biggie. As Paco Darcey wrote for Relevance, companies often struggle when it comes to data quality, as things like duplicate, out-of-date, unverified or missing information can greatly skew analytics results.

An innovative, self-service data solution doesn’t just help users clean and link data sets, but also provides user comments about data quality. Past users can rate data according to its quality, helping other users better gauge their trust in that particular information.

Tribal knowledge

Another key benefit of an advanced data catalog is its ability to help with the issue of Tribal knowledge. This is something that most businesses struggle with, and involves a set of unwritten rules or standards that is known by a certain internal group, but not necessarily understood by others in the business.

An advanced data catalog can help enterprise users finally document this kind of information, and make it more distributable and shareable throughout the organization. In this way, even unique internal processes and data can be included as part of analysis.

To find out more about going beyond data discovery with your data catalog, check out Unifi Software’s unique self-service data platform and connect with us today.