Data Catalog Guide- Definition, Importance & Features

An organization uses a data catalog to search and understand enterprise data. Its purpose is to manage, use or protect data. Data scientists and data executives, who analyze data, and data stewards and data owners, who manage data, collect value from data catalog.

Importance Of A Data Catalog

The number of data assets is increasing day by day in most organizations. So, data producers and consumers within an organization are facing many problems. 

Data stakeholders face challenges in searching for insightful data. Data consumers have to navigate data ‘swamps’ because they don’t know which data is put in which place. Moreover, as most data is not well documented and well-maintained, data consumers get puzzled about what data to use to get insights.

On the other hand, there is a problem in understanding data like- which data is relevant, who is the owner of data, who is using the data, and is data fresh and validated? 

Another challenge is that there is no efficient way to put forward the data before consumers by data producers. So, precious time is lost to searching how to access data by data consumers.

Here lies the importance of the data catalog.

1. Data catalog minimizes the pain of searching for the right data.

2. It manages data efficiently and increases productivity.

3. It allows decision-making by enriching data with technical and business metadata.

Features Of A Data Catalog

  • A good data catalog automatically discovers all metadata from systems.
  • A data catalog acts as a Google search for all data and metadata for a company.
  • A data catalog must have a business glossary, which is a FAQ regarding the data for a company.
  • You can add additional metadata and information with a good data catalog.


Hopefully, you have come to know from this data catalog guide that a data catalog is a vital part of the data management system. An up-to-date data catalog is essential for the long-term survival of the data governance system of an organization.