3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing a Data Catalog Solution

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Implementing new technology, such as a data catalog, can be stressful.  To help you have a smooth experience, we’ve outlined the three most common pitfalls to avoid when choosing a data catalog.

1. Don’t Take a Vendor’s Word for It.

Always remember that vendors want to sell you their solution, so sometimes weaknesses and limitations are glossed over during the sales cycle.  You’ll have to do your own due diligence by checking popular review sites such as Gartner Peer Insights, speaking with industry analysts and calling references provided by the vendor, to make sure that you are aware of any potential trouble spots.

2. Don’t Be Shortsighted.
Before you choose your data catalog solution, you’re going to want to make sure that you have given some thought to the broader use cases across the organization.  Gartner advises that companies should “Avoid data catalogs that do not have the ability to scale out beyond tactical use case requirements and connect to the broader enterprise metadata management and EIM initiatives. [1]” Choosing a data catalog based on a single, tactical use case can leave you in a pinch later on.

3. Don’t Assume Usability by Everyone.
Data catalogs come in all sorts of different flavors – some are built for a more technically-minded audience who is savvy with SQL and interested in the technical underbelly of data; others are geared towards a more business-focused audience who wants to see the data that matters for particular initiatives, and in a user friendly format.  Be sure that you identify who within your organization is going to be using the catalog and for what reason, that will ensure that you pick the data catalog that will appeal to your audience(s) and get the job done.

Choosing the right solution for your organization doesn’t have to be painful.  Here’s a few additional questions you should add to your list as you embark on your data catalog journey.

  • Does it offer the functionality important to the organization?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Can it search all of your databases - on-premises or in the cloud?
  • Will it provide real-time integration with your data sources?
  • Will you be able to connect your data assets directly to organizational goals and initiatives so that you can see and measure how data drives your business?

Paired with the pitfall advice above, this should get you started in the right direction.  Good luck!

Download our eBook Getting Started with a Data Catalog to learn the what, why, when, how and where of data catalog selection.

[1] Data Catalogs Are the New Black in Data Management and Analytics by Ehtisham Zaidi, Guido De Simoni, Roxane Edjlali, Alan D. Duncan, December 13 2017.

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