Data Catalogs Are Critical to Enabling More Data-Driven Decisions

A minority of organizations use data catalogs (23 percent), and more than 60 percent of organizations also report users encounter difficulty finding analytic content. Of the five data governance organization activities we track, those associated with cataloging rank highest. Together, these factors contribute to expected higher use of data catalogs (41 percent of respondents indicate future plans to employ data catalogs).

Data catalogs consistently rank highly in the Dresner Advisory Services technologies and initiatives strategic to BI, starting initially at 16th in 2017. Subsequently, its weighted average increased slowly but steadily, demonstrating increasing importance year over year. Organizations that consider data catalogs important also report higher levels of success with BI initiatives. In addition, success with BI correlates positively with both maturity in common trust in data / governance and data-driven decision making.

Data catalogs are not a stand-alone capability. Cataloging—organizational capabilities combined with supporting technology (such as data catalogs)—directly contributes to overcoming the challenge of finding analytic content and its supporting data. Completeness and diversity of information is directly supported by a cataloging capability and, in turn, is a central pillar in realization of common trust in data / governance. Both of these are core tenets in achieving higher levels of maturity within the Dresner Advisory Services Hyper-Decisive® Maturity Model®.

Data leaders should recognize that cataloging—of both data and analytic content—represents a critical-path capability in realization of data-driven decisions. This foundational capability enables organizations to adopt data-centric architectures, which in turn overcome many of the fragmentation challenges stemming from historic application-centric approaches to supporting and enabling enterprise data and analytic architectures.

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