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October 2017, Vol. 5, No. 5

A strong metadata management process eases big data woes

Big data can mean big insights, big trends, big forecasts and big returns. And it can also mean big problems in managing the data that delivers all those goodies. Metadata -- the data that describes all the collected big data -- is the first line of defense. But if your metadata program isn't well planned and properly implemented, a big problem can get worse. Let's suppose you're mining historical sales data to plot buying trends within a certain demographic, and your results will be passed on to marketing to plan a new campaign. If your demographic is millennials, and marketing defines that group as being in an age range different from what you're using, then marketing's results -- based on your results -- will be off-target. If you and marketing aren't using the same definition, your parameters won't deliver what marketing needs. The point is clear: The business that operates best is the one that works from the same page when it depends on the data that describes data. There are several rules to consider in a metadata ...

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