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Attention to metadata is a must in big data world.

According to an article on IT, some 83% of chief information officers (CIO) "have visionary plans that include business intelligence (BI) and analytics," a figure derived from an survey last year. Yet, a separate survey of BI analysts most of them simply cannot find enough of the organizational information they need.


The article, authored by Irfan Khan, says the best way to ensure that users can find the data they need is to carefully apply a metadata framework. To his audience of IT leaders, Khan emphasizes that metadata organizes information, making it more discoverable and accessible.

He lists a number of attributes about the data that can reveal its relevance. For example, keyword, temporal, and geospatial information can be applied, as well as use constraints, pricing, contacts, and anything else that improves the quality of the information about the data being sought.

A scrupulous use of metadata will save organizations time and make their data more valuable, which makes it more useful to analysts.

Of course, collecting and maintaining metadata can become very complex in very short order. Different types of data require different metadata capture. Some metadata can be captured by software systems; other metadata must be provided by the creator and/or users of the documents and data. The purpose for which the data will be used will have an impact on the metadata that should be captured and created.

The information governance profession has developed standards and guidelines for metadata that will provide even more detailed guidance to those individuals dealing with data--whether it is to be used to deal with big data, data mining, or business intelligence. Most notable are ISO 23081-1:2006 Information and documentation--Records management processes--Metadata for records--Part 1: Principles; ISO 23081-2:2007 Information and documentation Managing metadata for records--Part 2." Conceptual and implementation issues; and ISO / TR 23081-3:2011 Information and documentation--Managing metadata for records--Part 3: Self-assessment method. These and other publications related to metadata are available at

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Title Annotation:BIG DATA
Publication:Information Management Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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