Normally, I try not to delve too deeply into the technical. Most business people don’t care and “Lord of the Rings” fans knowwhere that got the dwarves.
I’ve been thinking about metadata since Friday, when I interviewedEvan Levy about master data management. He explained that people talk about master data as though it’s key business data, but in fact, what’s being mastered with MDM is metadata.
When you integrate data, he said, you’re not actually integrating the data – you’re matching up and integrating the metadata.
Hold up. What?
To understand why integration is such a constant challenge, and why new initiatives and technologies to deal with it are always showing up in your budget requests, you have to understand that much of integration and the problems we have with data is about the metadata – and the fact it’s been neglected, omitted and created without standardization, lo these many, many years of storing data.
And, increasingly, metadata is being talked about because it’s essential to discussions of semantics and semantic technology, which focuses on standardizing metadata (and other information) via ontologies. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but for our purposes today, that’s the important part.
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- Semantic Web: Linking up Libraries and Beyond (digitalassetmanagement.org.uk)
- The Semantic Web: A Perfect Complement to Master Data Management Initiatives (digitalassetmanagement.org.uk)
- Taxonomy vs. Metadata (digitalassetmanagement.org.uk)