Data Governance

What is data lineage and why your company should implement it

Angelika Sebokova
September 7, 2021 | 5 min read
The approach of companies towards data has changed significantly in the past few years. It is now understood that making your business decisions based on informed insights, rather than vague forecasts, can influence the success of your initiatives dramatically. Companies therefore go to great efforts to create neat data pipelines and sophisticated data storage systems but, overwhelmed with managing these processes, they often miss the perspective of evaluating how well this approach works for them.

Consider data like knowledge. Its general nature is that it is fragmented, multidimensional, and interpreted from various points of view. The same situation occurs in almost all companies. Data is created, used, and interpreted by various stakeholders at the same time, using different technologies and influencing various processes. Understanding this complexity in all its aspects is paramount to getting your data to work for you and increase the effectivity of harnessing it.

So, what is data lineage?

The simplest definition of data lineage is knowing where your data comes from, which pipelines it uses while flowing through your business, what processes and stakeholders it affects, and where it ends up being stored. Data lineage shows the path that the data took as it traveled through your business. In this context, data lineage provides a map of your data, ensuring better visibility of the information flow through various workflows. Getting a bigger picture about your data with data lineage is a big step forward to leveraging its potential as well as enhancing your data trustworthiness. The quality of data naturally improves when data specialists can easily track the changes in your data and find answers to “how” and “why” it happened.

Benefits data lineage can bring to your business

Efforts invested into data lineage implementation will surely pay off. Let’s have a quick overview of why data lineage matters and what major benefits it can bring to your business.

Reducing implementation risks

When introducing a new project or business process it is quite common for various stakeholders, with different perspectives and information pools, to face misunderstandings that can be a major blocker for the project implementation and overall modernization and progress of the company. Data lineage helps you to overcome this lack of information, prevent data misinterpretation caused by different departments’ point of view, and most importantly, bridges the gap between IT and business. Creating a transparent source of information and its flow will mitigate potential implementation risks and help you deliver your objectives more smoothly. Moreover, it naturally leads to our second benefit.

Time saving and cost reduction

Smooth implementation of new projects and business processes can save you a lot of money and time. Relying on reliable data sources, knowing what impact your intervention will have, and having the whole data flow visualized will prevent potential errors, or delays in development or solution delivery. As a bonus, enhanced data quality will aid your business decisions build on informed insights you can trust.

Achieving regulatory compliance

By introducing data lineage, you will significantly improve your data traceability and gain clear data ownership. Fulfilling these basic preconditions will allow your company to comply with data regulations such as BCBS 239, GDPR, and CCPA, and avoid reporting inconsistencies, misleading analytical results, or contradictive resultant calculations

How to implement data lineage?

When you want to start with data lineage from basic Business Terms up to a full Business Data Model (BDM), Accurity has you covered. With Business Glossary, you can easily see how business terms are related to your data catalog – you can start visualizing the dependencies of business processes to your data assets, and you will be able to conduct root-cause analysis of data quality issues via its dashboards.

Would you like to know more about how data lineage could help your business? Sign up for free to Accurity SaaS to evaluate it yourself, or request a free personalized 1-on-1 demo to discuss your challenge with us.

Angelika Sebokova
Marketing Specialist
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