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Metadata Management Solutions

Metadata management is the hero in unleashing the real potential of enterprise data. But metadata discovery, ingestion, cataloging, enrichment, visualization, governance and activation traditionally has depended on time-consuming and expensive manual processes and specialized technical knowledge. However, the right metadata management solution can automate tasks and apply best practices to help put active metadata management within reach for organizations to speed the delivery of data as a product for business users, provide enterprise-wide data visibility, achieve regulatory compliance and successfully support other data initiatives.
Metadata Management Solutions
Discover why erwin Data Intelligence is a 2023 Metadata Management Spark Matrix leader
What is Metadata?

What is metadata?

Quite simply, metadata is data about data. It’s generated every time data is captured at a source, accessed by users, moved through an organization, integrated or augmented with other data from other sources, profiled, cleansed and analyzed. Metadata is valuable because it provides information about the attributes of data elements that can be used to guide strategic and operational decision-making.

It answers these important questions:

  • What data do we have?
  • Where did it come from?
  • Where is it now?
  • How has it changed since it was originally created or captured?
  • Who is authorized to use it and how?
  • Is it sensitive or are there any risks associated with it?

What is metadata management?

Metadata management is the administration of data that describes other data, with an emphasis on associations and data lineage. It involves establishing policies and processes to ensure information can be integrated, accessed, shared, linked, analyzed and maintained across an organization.

Why is metadata management challenging?

Creating and sustaining an enterprise-wide view of and easy access to underlying metadata is complicated for several reasons:

  • The numerous data types and data sources that exist today weren’t designed to work together.
  • Data infrastructures have been cobbled together over time with disparate technologies, poor documentation and little thought for downstream integration.
  • Business context is limited or missing, and common terms haven’t been standardized and adopted across the enterprise.
  • Policies, processes and tools that define and control data access by roles and across workflows are lacking.
  • The traditional manual approach is expensive, time-consuming, error-prone and can’t keep pace with a dynamic enterprise data management infrastructure.

As a result, the applications and initiatives that depend on a solid data infrastructure may be compromised, rendering faulty analyses and insights. Without being able to take full advantage of analytics tools, an organization can’t become data-driven — or worse, it could end up going in the wrong direction.

Learn how metadata management supports enterprise intelligence according to IDC

Benefits of using erwin Data Intelligence by Quest for Metadata Management

As data continues to proliferate, so does the need for data and analytics initiatives to establish a solid data foundation – to truly know and understand the data within the enterprises, to be in the best position to leverage high-value data and to ensure the data use is within compliance and an organization’s best interests. With metadata management, you can realize these advantages:

Better data quality

Data issues and inconsistencies within integrated data sources or targets are identified in real time to improve overall data quality by increasing time to insights and/or repair.

Faster speed to insights

Reverse the current 85/15 rule that keeps high-paid knowledge workers too busy finding, understanding and resolving errors or inconsistencies to actually analyze source data.

Regulatory compliance

Regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PII, BCBS and CCPA have data privacy and security mandates, so sensitive data needs to be tagged, its data lineage documented, and its flows depicted for traceability.

Digital transformation

Knowing what data exists and its value potential promotes digital transformation by improving digital experiences, enhancing digital operations, driving digital innovation and building digital ecosystems.

Enterprise collaboration

With the business driving alignment between data governance and strategic enterprise goals and IT handling the technical mechanics of data management, the door opens to finding, trusting and using data to effectively meet organizational objectives.

Greater productivity & reduced costs

Being able to rely on automated and repeatable metadata management processes results in greater productivity. Gains of 85%+ for coding, 70%+ for metadata discovery, up to 50% for data design, up to 70% for data conversion, and up to 80% for data mapping have been reported.

Quicker project delivery

Accelerate Big Data deployments, data vaults, data warehouse modernization, cloud migration, etc., by up to 70 percent.

Why erwin for metadata management?


erwin Data Intelligence by Quest fuels both data management and data governance processes through an active metadata management approach driven by automation. It's unique in its ability to automatically harvest, transform and feed metadata from a wide array of data sources, operational processes, business applications and data models into a central data catalog and then make it accessible and understandable within the context of role-based views.

erwin Data Intelligence helps globally leading companies in a diverse range of industries get a better handle on the data within their organizations to better leverage and protect it. Within highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare and insurance, as well as in governmental agencies, its transparency, tracking and reporting capabilities are critical assets when tackling regulatory compliance.

erwin Data Intelligence offers a metamodel that is open, extensible and comes with a full set of APIs. A comprehensive list of standard data connectors are included for automated harvesting, refreshing and version-controlled metadata management. Optional erwin Smart Data Connectors by Quest reverse-engineer ETL code of all types and connect bi-directionally with reporting and other ecosystem tools. These connectors offer the fastest and most accurate path to data lineage, impact analysis and other detailed graphical relationships.

Additionally, erwin Data Intelligence provides integrated data quality capabilities leveraging data catalog metadata to initiate and automate data profiling and quality assessments, and providing widespread visibility of data quality scoring for IT, data governance teams and business users. Optional data observability and remediation tools also support data quality initiatives.

The metadata management capabilities of erwin Data Intelligence also serve as the foundation for data governance, data literacy and data marketplace capabilities within the software. With erwin, powerful automated metadata management and data catalog capabilities are your gateway into unlocking the full potential of data within your organization.

Lastly, erwin Data Intelligence is part of the erwin by Quest platform that also integrates data modelingenterprise architecture and business process modeling. Customers rely on erwin's active metadata-driven approach to:

  • Understand their business, technology and data architectures and the relationships between them
  • Create and automate a curated enterprise data catalog, complete with physical assets, data models, data movement, data quality and on-demand lineage
  • Activate their metadata to drive agile and well governed data preparation with integrated business glossaries and data dictionaries that provide business context for stakeholder data literacy

erwin Data Intelligence key metadata management components

erwin Data Intelligence by Quest combines data catalog, data quality, data literacy and data marketplace capabilities so enterprise stakeholders have greater awareness of, and access to, available data assets, guidance on their use, and guardrails to ensure data policies and best practices are followed. With erwin, you can deliver an automated, real-time and high-quality data pipeline, including data-at-rest within databases, data warehouses and data lakes as well as data-in-motion as it flows through key applications. The key components of erwin Data Intelligence are:

erwin Data Catalog by Quest

erwin Data Catalog by Quest automates enterprise metadata management, data mapping, code generation and data lineage for data movement and/or integration and modernization of the data architecture. The solution harvests metadata from a broad variety of data sources and maps data elements from source to target, including “data in motion,” while harmonizing data integration across platforms.

erwin Data Literacy by Quest

erwin Data Literacy by Quest enables data stewards to curate and govern data assets so data consumers can discover data relevant to their roles and understand it within a business context. By creating data communities and promoting data fluency, stakeholders have an integrated and contextual view of the semantic, business and technical aspects of the entire data landscape.

erwin Data Connectors by Quest

erwin Standard Data Connectors are included with erwin Data Catalog to efficiently harvest and ingest metadata from common data-at-rest data sources. But many customers add erwin Smart Data Connectors for automation that harvests data-at-rest metadata from more complex sources, as well as data in motion from a broad variety of code types and industry standard tools and languages (BI, ELT, ETL). erwin Smart Data Connectors additionally empower IT teams with metadata-driven automation to speed the development lifecycle. Added visibility, improved processes and integrated data consumption platforms with reusable code all save considerable time and money.

erwin Data Quality by Quest

erwin Data Quality by Quest combines data intelligence, automation and an integrated, modern augmented data quality platform to help organizations automate the data profiling, quality assessment and ongoing quality monitoring and data remediation of critical data sources. Widespread visibility of data quality scoring through erwin Data Intelligence gives IT, data governance teams and business users the information needed to fuel smart data use and build data trust.

erwin Data Marketplace by Quest

erwin Data Marketplace by Quest makes it easy for all data users, no matter their level of technical expertise, to shop for the trusted data your business needs to move forward. Governed, high-value datasets and AI models can be analyzed, compared and shared all in one place to speed data discovery, improve data literacy and maximize the business impact of your data.

Get started now

It’s time to get smarter about metadata management. erwin Data Intelligence will help you connect your data management and data governance efforts, automating and accelerating your speed to data insights and better decisions.