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Aaron Kalb at Alation explains how to make metadata matter

With a never-ending influx of data, information is only valuable when it can easily be found, shared and communicated among others.

The degree to which organizations can apply tools and policies that enhance knowledge sharing and collaboration will ultimately determine how successful an organization can be.

KMWorld recently held a webinar with Aaron Kalb, co-founder and chief data officer, Alation, who discussed how modern data catalogs make data and analytics collaborative.

Metadata is a really boring and confusing name for something understandable, ubiquitous, and useful, Kalb explained. Everybody wants to make informed decisions. That requires taking good data and interpreting it well. This requires good metadata.

A catalog is a tool for surfacing metadata in a way that’s actually useful to decision makers, he said.

There are three kinds of metadata: technical metadata, business metadata, and behavioral metadata. Behavioral data is often the most useful, according to Kalb.

For every piece of data a modern data catalog should tell you: How much it has been used, how recently, who in particular has used it (individuals and teams), and how exactly they used it.

A modern data catalog should observe behavior to improve behavior, he said. It’s important to understand what you’re looking at, where it came from, who’s using it and how, and whether you can trust it.

“Learn from others without them having to teach you, without having to wait, without even having to leave your app,” Kalb said.

An archived on-demand replay of this webinar is available here.

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