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Business Case for Metadata

Why bother with Metadata?

Metadata helps people who use geospatial data find the data they need and determine how best to use it. Metadata supports producers in locating and using their own data resources and data consumers in locating and using data resources produced by others. Metadata also supports:

Data Management requirements to:

  • preserve the data history so that it can be re-used or adapted,
  • assess the age and character of data holdings to determine which data should be maintained, updated, or deleted,
  • instill data accountability by requiring you to state what you know about the data and realizing what you don’t, but should, know about your data
  • limit data liability by explicitly designating the effective and administrative limits of use of the data.

Project Management requirements to:

  • plan and document the data types and content needed to support the project
  • monitor data development by regular review of the process steps completed and recorded within the metadata
  • provide all project participants a common language of attributes and process methods and a place to record and share their progress
  • access the lineage and content of outsourced data production by requiring robust metadata as a contract deliverable.

As personnel change in an organization, institutional knowledge leaves the organization. Undocumented data can lose their value. Subsequent workers may have little understanding of the contents and uses for a digital data base and may find they can't trust results generated from these data. Also, lack of knowledge about other organizations' data can lead to duplication of effort. It may seem burdensome to add the cost of generating metadata to the cost of data collection, but in the long run metadata are worth it.

The following Metadata Publications provide additional information about the use and value of metadata:


Last Updated: Jul 27, 2012 08:18 AM
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