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What to know about the IBM Information Governance Catalog

IBM's Information Governance Catalog provides organizations with a workflow-oriented data governance tool for organizing, managing and accessing their data assets.

The IBM InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog data governance tool helps enterprises identify, store and manage IT and business data assets that are essential for day-to-day operations. It provides a central location for employees to search for and access key data terms and business information assets that are up to date and trustworthy.

The workflow-oriented data governance tool gives users a means of establishing policies to dictate how an enterprise's data should be handled across all its channels. The tool's focus is on supporting the business teams that have established common data standards and the IT team that subsequently manages this data.

How does the software support data governance tasks?

At the core of Information Governance Catalog is its data cataloging system. This enables organizations to build their data glossary using features for establishing properties for governance policies and rules, as well as data categories, labels, terms and associated metadata. It also provides features for defining the relationships between policies and rules and categories and terms, making the management of old and new data as intuitive as possible.

Categories, labels, terms, and governance policies and rules, as well as the overall data hierarchy structure, can be created and customized manually from the Glossary Development feature. Additionally, the Information Governance Catalog allows users to easily import existing governance policies and rules, categories and labels using its import wizard. These items can be imported in comma-separated values or extensible markup language format, or pulled from compatible IBM software such as InfoSphere Business Glossary and InfoSphere Metadata Asset Manager.

Users must be assigned a workflow and security role before they're able to access the catalog. This roles-based access ensures that only appropriate employees can create, access and manipulate data assets authorized to them. Users can be assigned both workflow and security roles. Workflow roles are given to users who will be developing -- and later managing -- the various categories and terms within the catalog. There are four workflow roles in the software: editor, reviewer, approver and publisher. Users with workflow roles are provided access to a developmental glossary that lets them preview and edit assets before they're published. Only users with specific workflow roles can create, approve, edit, review and publish assets found in the glossary.

Once the glossary is operational, security roles are given to users who will access and interact with the data assets within the catalog. There are seven security roles in the software, each with its own unique access and editing abilities: glossary basic user, user, glossary author, glossary administrator, information asset author, information asset administrator and information asset assigner. Additionally, the software provides a feature for assigning data stewards -- individuals or groups -- that can help manage data assets once they're published.

Users with security roles have access to the catalog via a Web browser, which allows them to reach stored data from anywhere they have Internet access. They can also access lineage reports of data that allow them to graphically identify where the data in the glossary originated, helping to increase confidence in the accuracy of the data. The latest version of Information Governance Catalog, 11.5 RUP1, also features functions for data classification, which helps users determine personally identifiable information or other sensitive data across multiple data sets. The compliance reporting feature lets organizations schedule, download, distribute and archive custom lineage reports in PDF format.

Who benefits from using Information Governance Catalog?

IBM's data governance software can be used by organizations of all sizes to create a centralized system for storing and managing the data assets essential to making their business prosper. Successful data governance involves searching for and accessing accurate and reliable data, but it hinges on the establishment of defined data policies, implementation guidelines and common business vocabulary that make managing the data as easy as possible.

How is the software licensed and priced?

Information Governance Catalog is available as on-premises software with client-server architecture. It can be deployed on AIX, Linux and Windows server systems, and users can access the software via the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browsers. Pricing is based on a server capacity-based processor value unit measurement. As a result, published pricing is unavailable, and those interested in purchasing the software should contact IBM directly. There are three editions of the software available:

  • InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog, which is best suited for medium-size to large organizations.
  • InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog Workgroup, which is limited to a maximum of 480 PVUs and five authorized users, making it best suited for smaller organizations.
  • InfoSphere Information Governance Catalog for Data Warehousing, which is priced explicitly for use with popular data warehousing systems such as IBM Netezza, IBM Pure Data and Teradata.

A 12-month support program is included with Information Governance Catalog. Additional support may be purchased from IBM. All valid support contracts also provide access to available software upgrades during the contract period. No trial is available, but IBM will provide organizations with proof of concept or a product demonstration before purchase.

Next Steps

Learn how to establish an effective data governance framework.

How has data governance evolved in the digital age?

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This was last published in April 2016

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