Accurity Platform

Trusted and Informative Data Catalog Resources to Help Improve Your Business

Graham Needham
May 10, 2023 | 11 min read
When your organization or enterprise needs to utilize data for analytics, e-commerce, or data governance in general, it is vitally important to know what data you have and where it is stored. This inventory is known as a data catalog.

What is a data catalog?

One definition of a data catalog (or data catalogue) is simply an organized inventory of company data assets, including datasets, data structures, data fields, and all related technical metadata across all layers of your data architecture.

Why do I need a data catalog?

The reason why you need a data catalog is that it brings significant benefits to your business and makes working with your data much more efficient, saving you time and money. It helps you overcome data challenges such as:

  • The need for lots of manual work

  • Ad-hoc data preparations and reports

  • Difficulties with understanding the structure of your data

  • The large amount of time that might be needed to localize and find important information

The purpose of a data catalog is to create and maintain a consolidated inventory of your data assets that is a shared resource across your organization. This enables your business to work more effectively with data:

  • Ingestion

  • Extract transform load (ETL)

  • Analysis

  • Capturing metadata about existing databases

  • Documenting data lineage

And those are just some of the reasons why a data catalog is important – discover more in our creating an inventory of your data assets with data catalog blog post.

What makes a good data catalog?

It is important that your data catalog is easy to use and can solve your data challenges. Here are five costly business problems that are easily fixable with our Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution:

  1. Lack of clarity and consistency in reporting.

  2. Difficulty in integrating data after mergers and acquisitions.

  3. Onboarding and training new staff on company-specific terminology.

  4. Inefficient data discovery and navigation.

  5. Inability to track reporting data over time.

Data stewards can improve their efficiency and increase trust in the whole data catalog if they do not need to create and update the data catalogs manually. Accurity can automate data discovery between the data catalog and a data source to update metadata automatically and quickly. You can find a complete overview of Accurity features on our website.

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are major buzzwords right now – any help these technologies can give you when using your data catalog is to be valued. One of Accurity’s many features is business terms suggestions which offer automated AI suggestions of mappings between business terms and the data catalog.

In terms of future-proofing your organization’s growth, your data catalog tool should be scalable in order to grow with your data governance needs, and it should be able to integrate into your technology stack – Accurity utilizes the open REST API for enterprise application integration (EAI).

A data catalog must work with any data hubs, data lakes, and mesh networking topologies you have. It is a major benefit if your data catalog has native connectors and our Accurity developers are agile enough to develop connectors for our clients speedily. Take a look at what other connectors and new features are coming in our public roadmap.

Although there are open-source software and tools, these can be difficult to install and cumbersome to use. Such data catalogs might be free, but the underlying requirements can still make them expensive, especially if they must be serviced and supported. The Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution is available as an online SaaS with a Starter plan that is free forever. We include access to our support desk, user guides, free upgrades, and bug fixes; you can also request features. With its sample data, Accurity is a good example of how to get started quickly and easily.

Real-world use cases of a data catalog

It can be difficult to understand the exact benefits of using a data catalog. So let us demonstrate the most beneficial use cases of a data catalog by likening them to five everyday things that you have definitely used to your benefit before:

  1. A map that can easily chart your database with

  2. A GPS that will guide you to anything you keep data about

  3. A handy dictionary that helps you understand the meaning of confusing words

  4. An interior design tool – but for data warehouses

  5. It contains food preparation recipes – only you don’t have to cook anything

Discover more about these scenarios in our five ways in which a data catalog is just like everyday tools you have used before article.

Accurity is trusted and used by many companies around the world, so here is some information about the particular use cases and benefits that the solution brought to our customers with links to their stories:

Recently, My Muscle Chef, an Australian number one food delivery service delivering over two million freshly prepared high-protein meals monthly, had a data challenge because their business was growing rapidly. They were concerned that it would become easy to lose track of where they store what data, and they also needed to describe their data, including the business data lineage to the data catalog, so that they could get a better overview of what they work with and have in their data infrastructure. Discover how Accurity’s data catalog has started to help My Muscle Chef solve their data challenge.

BRD – Groupe Société Générale bank needed a solution that would fit their roadmap for building a data governance culture across the company, not only to fulfill the requirements of the BCBS 239 regulation but also to advance their maturity of working with data. They wanted a central management application for the DWH business data model and a data catalog to link it to the physical location of the data.

Over in Estonia, their government’s mandatory drive for regulatory digitalization and harmonization of data and services meant the Estonian Tax and Customs Board was looking for a data harmonization and cataloging tool. Learn how the Estonian Tax and Customs Board was able to get started quickly and for free with Accurity and how they are progressing with their use of it in our interview with them.

Business glossary vs data catalog

Essentially, a data catalog is a tool that helps you navigate your organization's entire data ecosystem. On the other hand, the business glossary focuses on business concepts and definitions rather than datasets. The business glossary, hence its name, is driven by business, not the IT department. There should be only one business glossary in an organization, but there could be many different datasets and sources.

So, do I need them both? The answer is yes, as you will need to be able to connect your data sources to your business glossary so that you can utilize your data most effectively and know what you store in the data landscape from the business perspective. A data catalog and a business glossary are vital tools in a data intelligence strategy, and the two solutions are often used together, such as in our Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution. You can also integrate this combination with other solutions, such as data profiling, technical data mappings, data lineage, business rules, and data quality – all available in our Accurity data intelligence platform. See our essential business glossary resources to help you resolve data challenges blog post for more business glossary resources.

The Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution

The Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution offers an easy-to-use data catalog with the Starter plan that is free forever. With its sample data, our online business glossary and data catalog will get you started quickly and easily.

  • Document your business terms with ease.

  • Know your data catalog – capture your metadata with a few clicks.

  • Create business lineage fast with our intuitive UX.

  • Import and enrich your metadata from data sources like a pro.

  • Attain consolidated reporting and regulatory compliance for your organization.

  • Enable monetization of your data.

No credit card is required, and enhanced features from paid business plans are enabled for 14 days. The solution is offered in the cloud, and we also offer other deployment models based on your preferred environment.

Get your in-depth look at Accurity’s data catalog solution

Let our product experts show you how the Accurity Business glossary and data catalog solution can help you with your data challenge/data governance initiative. Get your free demo now.

Graham Needham
Content Editor