Business Metadata for IT  

Metadata Management-Overview

This is the context setting chapter for Metadata Management. It shares the definition of metadata, demystifies metadata management, provides examples for business and technical metadata, and also on why do we need metadata.

Business Metadata for IT

Business metadata is capturing details about an organization out of the boundaries of IT systems. It also has the details on the business specs which define the IT systems.

Business Metadata has been a recent concept as till recently the meta-data initiative used focus on the technical metadata. With the emergence of knowledge, content and business process management system, the business metadata management has become more feasible.

A business metadata is inseparable from technical metadata as being the part of meta-data repository. The list below is a representation and not a complete list. As you will see, many business metadata components are also there in technical metadata. In such cases, the language in which the metadata object is defined could be technical vs. business language.

As you will learn further in Metadata Management section, business Metadata is a bigger challenge than IT metadata, because the IT related meta-data is belonging to an environment, which is mostly owned by IT. Secondly, IT folks are wired to manage these kinds of initiatives. For business environment, this is a fairly new concept and we are still in the beginning of the evolution life-cycle. This by no means underplays challenge related to the technical metadata, as it is not far ahead in the evolution curve. Even today, IT has a challenge for having robust all-encompassing repositories.

Examples of the Business Meta-data

Business Model

  • Business data models
  • Business Analysis models (for business modeling)
  • Business Hierarchies (from a business analyst point of view)
  • Business dimensions and attributes with business descriptions

Data Management

  • Data Groups
  • Data Custodians owning the data
  • Data stewards responsible for the health of the data.

Data quality

  • Data quality business rules
  • Data Quality statistics

Data Analysis and Reporting

  • Business Reports Definition
  • Data Analysis definition in the reports (what analysis is done in the reports, why and how it is done)
  • Reports structure and layout

Performance Management

  • Measures and key performance metrics
  • Performance dashboards and scorecards


  • Rules
  • Policies
  • Standard Operating procedures
  • Legal Contracts

Business rules and processes

  • Business Processes
  • Business Rules