6 thoughts on “Metadata is not a “nice to have”

  1. Triparna Ray

    Interesting Matthew for me as I am from Bengal part of India who has red lentils almost every day šŸ™‚ also as a power bi professional enjoyed the way you put forward the importance of metadata. Thanks!


  2. Love the analogy. My personal favorite analogy regards old family photos. If no one takes te time to write on the back of the photo the who/what/where/when/why (i.e. the metadata), that photo will get thrown away.
    As regards a dataset, where would you suggest that the metadata live? Is there a way to annotate it within the source or would it have to be a separate place (like an index is) where it lives?


    1. Unfortunately, there is no great general solution today. Enterprise data catalogs are often heavyweight and expensive. Ad hoc catalogs (and enterprise catalogs too, for that matter) are often disconnected from the experiences where people work with the data itself.

      In the ideal world, any data consumption or production experience will have capabilities for using and managing metadata as well, and those experiences would make it simple and easy for people to use and curate metadata as part of their core data tasks. But we both know we don’t live in that world today… ;-(


  3. My kind of post – metadata and a daal recipe. I’m thinking about Persistent Identifiers at the moment, and the same sort of principles apply. A name is very important of course, but without a persistent unique identifier it is very hard to make connections between that name and the things that name represents – publications, place of birth, occupations, aliases etc. However, like metadata, there are a whole host of options for what to use. Still, whatever you use, good structured metadata will help unite the saag paneers of the world!


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