Why is a data catalog essential to making your data lakes successful?

WW Product Marketing Manager - Unified Governance and Integration, IBM

All industries—from healthcare to retail to banking—are digitally transforming themselves every day to become more agile and stay competitive. However, all industries depend on data  to be successful, and this impacts the way enterprises plan and execute their operations. Although enterprises have mastered the collection of data over time, and built data warehouses and data lakes, they are still unable to derive true value from the data and use it at the right time with confidence that will have a positive effect on their business. According to a Gartner report, through 2022, more than 80 percent of data lake projects will fail to deliver value. Finding, inventorying and curating data will prove to be the biggest inhibitor to analytics and data science success reports Gartner. Data lakes can never cease to exist as long as people are creating and consuming data. But if they fail to deliver value, how can businesses thrive in this digital era?

Building data lakes and building governed data lakes are different from each other. Most of the data lake projects have data quality and governance issues which percolate down and provide incorrect insights to the business. With time and resource constraints that touch every IT project, building a data lake seemed to be an easy way out. But how can you make your existing data lake investments successful? The answer is to invest in a data catalog with an integrated governance platform.

Let’s explore the key benefits it can bring to the table.

 1. Helps raise confidence in your data through quality and governance

  • Data quality capabilities help you to improve the quality of your data and make high quality data available in your data lake
  • Governance policies (when automatically set and enforced) can help you find a data set and how you are allowed to use it
  • You can curate your data as users add ratings, comments and other information that will help others determine whether or not a data set will be useful to them

2. Empower your data users

  • Your line-of-business teams share their data willingly, because they are confident that it will be properly governed and protected from misuse
  • Drive collaboration and transform data into trusted enterprise assets through dynamic data policies and enforcement
  • Your data becomes more findable and reusable over time, as users add relevant tags and metadata to help others extract value from it
  • A single interface gives you access to every data set your organization owns, regardless of where it is stored

 3. Get your time back

  • Automatic data discovery reduces the time and effort you need to spend adding metadata for new data sets
  • Automatic data curation and metadata management reduces the time it takes to discover metadata and assign terms and also reduces the business glossary creation time
  • With simple and intuitive self-service data preparation tools, your data users spend less time preparing data and more time discovering insights
  • You unleash your data scientists and your business analysts to provide better analytics in a shorter space of time
  • Intelligent, AI-powered search helps you find the data you need within seconds, instead of waiting weeks for another team to provide it

4. Manage growing data and costs

  • You can optimize storage costs by avoiding the expense of ingesting low-value data sets into the data lake
  • You can also see all the external data sets that your organization subscribes to, reducing the risk of paying for more subscriptions than you need
  • You can prioritize the ingestion of new data sources into the data lake based on users’ demand for the data, helping you integrate the most valuable sources first

An enterprise data governance platform with cataloging, data quality, and data discovery can transform a failing data lake project into a true source of business value.

IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog powered by Cloud for Pak Data, provides a machine learning powered data governance platform to help with data lake challenges. It helps deliver business ready data with intelligent data cataloging capabilities that helps users find, use and trust data.

Read the Deliver business-ready data with intelligent data cataloging and data lake governance white paper to learn more.