Why Enterprise Data Governance needs Data Lineage.
Data lineage provides organizations with a full view of their entire data landscape, showing all transformations and iterations data assets have undergone to reach their present form. In addition to presenting users with information they can trust, the primary function of data lineage technology is to provide users with an easy way to access and visualize an organization’s datasets, allowing them to make better business decisions. This is a basic overview of how data lineage generates value for businesses. Yet businesses often leave potential value at the table by not making full use of data lineage. This article provides detailed insight into how data lineage best functions within an enterprise.
Data Lineage Benefits for Enterprises
Increased Understanding and Efficiency
Data lineage illustrates the flow of data from its source to destination and shows how it evolves every step of the way. The transformations data has undergone and reason for changes can be quickly identified through the elevated perspective data lineage provides. It can be used to easily answer common questions that arise. Who is using the data? Where is the data coming from? Why is the data the way it is? Without automated data lineage, these questions require hours of effort from subject matter experts to answer.
Business problems can be as basic as finding a customer’s receipts to more complex scenarios that require insights of hidden aspects of data like a company-wide software migration. Regardless of the user and their responsibilities, providing them with a visualization of data is highly assistive in framing aspects of the organization, guiding business decisions and formulating plans.
Increased Validity and Data Trust
Data landscapes are messy, littered with unstructured data mostly in forms that are unusable and provide no value to the organization. Enterprises augmented with data automation have had their data landscape audited and organized so that all its data assets are accessible and legible. This is known as a data catalog which allows businesses to navigate their enterprise data. Data lineage expands on this idea, upgrading a system of data cataloging through adding the function to unravel the entire history of data assets. All iterations and transformations data assets have undergone to reach its current form can be easily traced at any point of its lifespan back to the source.
The more you know about anything, the more you can trust it. Metadata tools render data assets understandable and accessible. Data lineage validates data even further by providing users with a full end-to-end understanding of whatever information they are working with. You can see what state the data asset was in at any point in time and what changes it had undergone for it to be the way it is. Instead of users wondering if a data asset can even be trusted for business use, they are equipped with the ability to look for themselves.
Increased Accessibility and Visualization
Businesses often find themselves requiring specific information for a critical purpose that is hidden somewhere within the organization. One of the defining features of a data catalog is that users are able to quickly search for data assets with an emphasis on easy navigation. Again, data lineage builds on this by granting users the ability to take data assets within the system and visually represent its entire lifecycle. Data relationships are outlined in a way that is beautiful, intuitive and traversable so that data assets and the relationships between them can be simplified and understood.
Increased Data Security and Risk Reduction
Data lineage bolsters data security initiatives. For data security teams, having the ability to track the history of data assets, see what transformations it has undergone and what happened is invaluable. Easily visualizing the data, including upstream and downstream impacts and relationships, grants a more intricate understanding of it. For example, data owners are given more information on their particular data asset and its impact on other data assisting them in assigning it a classification level. If a data breach occurs, data security initiatives that include using lineage tools can immediately view the impacted dataset and respond concisely.
The security state of any data asset can be more effectively evaluated when using data lineage tools. In addition to increasing the trust and quality of your data landscape, in any case of ‘at-risk’ data or data breaches data stewards would use lineage tools for rapid pre-emptive or remedial action.
Businesses need to know Data Lineage Best Practices to get Benefits
Business leaders need to ensure lineage tools are incorporated properly. First, when implementing data lineage, organizations must recognize that it is a tool that must be used within a data governance framework. Data lineage has to be used to facilitate other metadata tools, to elevate data governance and achieve business outcomes. Second, for the value of data lineage to be maximized, it must be operable by all users within the organization. Businesses need to provide training so that users of all technical abilities know how to use data lineage functions within their business context, not just the tech department.
Essentially, businesses need to ensure that they have a data lineage tool that can be incorporated into their overall business structure. Alex Solutions was built as a true enterprise solution, with the intention of unifying all data users for all sorts of business tasks. Alex aims to extract value from effective data governance using all metadata tools together, including our world leading lineage features.
Implementation of Alex lineage and metadata tools is quick and seamless with 95% of Alex’s lineage provided out-of-the-box. Alex is designed to be fit for all users – simple and intuitive for business users with best-in-class features for technically adept users. With assistance from our dedicated experts, training is easy and all implementation is fast. If you would like to read more on the specifics of how data lineage benefits successful enterprises, please click here. For even more specifics about how successful businesses fully realize the benefits of data lineage capacities, or to join them, please request a free and personalized demo.