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A data catalog is a systematic list of all data assets in the form of tables, files, reports, etc. that exist in a company's various source systems. It works a lot like a fashion catalog. But instead of detailing swimsuits or shoes, it has information from a company’s ERP, HR, Finance, and E-commerce systems (as well as social media feeds). The catalog also shows where all the data entities are located.
A data catalog contains lots of critical information about each piece of data, such as the data’s profile (statistics or informative summaries about the data), lineage (how the data is generated), and what others say about it. The catalog is the go-to spot for data analysts, data stewards, data scientists, and others to find and understand relevant datasets to build insights, discover trends, and identify new products for the company.
A data catalog solves this problem, as well as others. It makes data easy to find. It gives a comprehensive view of each piece of data across the databases and identifies relationships. Plus, it forms a foundation for an organization's data governance program.
Read more on How to Build a Business Case for Data Governance
The first step for building a data catalog is collecting the data’s metadata. Data catalogs use metadata to identify the data tables, files, and databases. The catalog crawls the company’s databases and brings the metadata (not the actual data) to the data catalog. Some data catalogs have restrictions about the types of databases they can crawl. OvalEdge doesn’t. It can crawl:
Data Management Platforms
Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms
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