Data Lineage – 3 Crucial Elements to Understand


Data lineage provides vital information about when the data was created and about its current status. It’s especially helpful to companies with sensitive data files. Get a firm grasp on data lineage with these three valuable insights.

What Is Data Lineage?

Data lineage is a record of changes, adaptations and specific data piece evolution. Data lineage presents the genesis of a data set, the changes it undergoes, where it goes and its attributes. Personified, it is information’s biological clock. It’s like a medical record for a piece of data.

A quick example that helps visualize data lineage is the rings of a tree. When a tree is cut down, people can inspect the rings on the stump to roughly determine its age. For data files, data lineage acts the same way. It tells when it was created and by whom.

Benefits of Data Lineage

Inclusion of data lineage in organizations boosts transparency and understanding of information from its inception to its current state. This is because it upholds quality of data. Without lineage, data quality deteriorates through development, relocation and transformation.

A group of engaged coworkers watching something in the distance.
Data lineage gives companies transparency of information.

Data lineage ensures a business can stay within regulations and standards. Similarly, incomplete data could interrupt workflows, so having a start-to-finish record of a piece of information maintains integrity and clarity. Within many companies, team members depend on whole sets of data for vital reports. They need data lineage tools to confirm the data included in reports is accurate.

Use Visual Portrayals to Track and Apply Data Lineage

Create visual representations of data to bolster trust and clarity among team members who have reservations about data use. Data flow and lineage of an organization is complex and obscure, and the best solution to clear up the processes for members is a visual of the data flow. Visual depiction of the company’s data flow offers a mapping of information from its beginning to current state, and the developments the data undergoes in its journey.

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Graphs of data lineage help teams correctly utilize pieces of information.

A graph is a strong solution to simplify data lineage for teams. Therefore graphing software should be capable of presenting basic visual mapping and offer searchable functionality. Within each graph will be pieces of the data puzzle which users will have questions and concerns about. Search functions resolve by locating specific pieces of information within the graph.

Metadata Management’s Important Role in Data Lineage

Metadata management organizes information about data so that it can be searched. It enriches and keeps detailed records of data flow. The right metadata management solution ensures data lineage within an organization will be discernible. Throughout a typical data flow, pieces of metadata are stored as data changes on the way to its destination.

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Metadata provides integral parts of data lineage.

Metadata management offers comprehensive data lineage in a coordinated location for different departments of a business to employ. Presenting data lineage reports help teams grow in efficiency and competence, and metadata management keeps these reports detailed and organized.

Data lineage offers detailed insight into the span of existence for a piece of information. An understanding of the different factors is the beginning of true organizational transparency. Align valuable information with effective data lineage to keep all teams informed.