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Data Warehousing Fundamentals for IT Professionals by Paulraj Ponniah

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CHAPTER 9

THE SIGNIFICANT ROLE OF METADATA

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES

  • Find out why metadata is so important
  • Understand who needs metadata and what types they need
  • Review metadata types by the three functional areas
  • Discuss business metadata and technical metadata in detail
  • Examine all the requirements metadata must satisfy
  • Understand the challenges for metadata management
  • Study options for providing metadata

We discussed metadata briefly in earlier chapters. In Chapter 2, we considered metadata as one of the major building blocks for a data warehouse. We grouped metadata into three types, namely, operational, extraction and transformation, and end-user metadata. While discussing the major data warehousing trends in Chapter 3, we reviewed the industry initiatives to standardize metadata.

This chapter deals with the topic of metadata in further depth. We will attempt to remove uncertainty you may have about the exact meaning, content, and characteristics of metadata. We will also get an appreciation for why metadata is vitally important. Further, we will look for practical methods to provide effective metadata in a data warehouse environment.

WHY METADATA IS IMPORTANT

Let us begin with a positive assumption. Assume that your project team has successfully completed the development of the first data mart. Everything was done according to schedule. Your management is pleased that the team finished the project under budget and comfortably before the deadline. All the results proved out in ...

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