Metadata: Help or Hindrance?

Arthur Cole

Is metadata a help or a hindrance?


Judging by some of the commentary this week, it seems that a number of people are at least willing to give it a try.


Yes, it's a big job giving labels and tags to every document, and it will be difficult to catalog data with enough references to suit all users. But as we've said before, free enterprise has a way of satisfying needs, no matter what they are.


And if big enterprises express a willingness to invest in metadata, then the vendor community is bound to come up with the technology to automate the process. Abrevity, EMC and NetApp are the latest to come out with metadata management tools to improve the process.


It seems that the only major concern is not how to implement a metadata strategy, but getting individual business units to give up control of their silos in order to improve the flow of information across the organization. Firms like Ameritrade and PepsiCo are using Web services and common data definitions to overcome this problem.


Going forward, it seems today's technical issues surrounding metadata will likely be solved, only to be replaced by new ones tomorrow.


And in the end, we'll have to see if today's data management issues are best solved by adding more data to the enterprise.

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