Why Businesses Should Care About Enterprise Data Lineage

Businesses are drowning in data. It is especially challenging for large enterprises. They collect data from various sources and integrate it through ETL (extract, transform, load) to make the information accessible. For large enterprises, numerous integrations are commonplace. As the amount of data and the number of transformations increase, tracking of data flows becomes more complex. Enterprise data lineage throws a lifeboat into this chaotic sea of big data management.

What Enterprise Data Lineage Entails

On the conceptual level, the idea of data lineage is simple. Data is generated at multiple sources, and it moves through the enterprise, getting transformed and altered to serve business needs. Data lineage provides descriptions of the pathways from the data origins to the data consumption points. An enterprise data lineage solution helps businesses understand how data flows from source to destination.

The complexity of data lineage stems from the number of sources, destinations, and transforms. It is like tracing a family tree. You can easily trace the ancestry of a handful of people to a few generations without much difficulty. But as you increase the depth and breadth of your search, the task becomes trickier.

When trying to address complex enterprise-level data lineage, it is easier to think in terms of business lineage, technical lineage, and procedural lineage.

Business lineage – Business lineage provides the definitions of data assets. It might be maintained as a business glossary to keep track of data asset descriptions and properties. A definition of a data asset might change when it is moving from one department to another or updated over time due to a change in business objectives.

Technical lineage – As data flows through applications, services, and data stores, the structure of data changes. Companies store data in various formats. Even for the same data, schemas might change. Technical lineage keeps track of the structural aspects of data.

Procedural lineage – Procedural lineage documents the transformations of the data. Business processes update and integrate data from multiple sources. Data lineage tools trace these transformations to create audit trails.

Of course, in real-life situations, all three aspects of data lineage interact. A great enterprise data lineage solution integrates the business, technical and procedural elements. Then, it presents the data in an easily comprehensible format, whether descriptive or visual.

Benefits of Enterprise Data Lineage Availability

When enterprises have access to data lineage, it opens new avenues to explore, validate and use data. An organization with robust enterprise data lineage tools is empowered to make data-driven business decisions. Here are a few ways data lineage helps businesses:

Audit Trails and Regulatory Compliance – Data lineage increases data traceability and creates an audit trail for every piece of information. When businesses have to meet compliance requirements like GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or SOC2, traceable audit trails can save time and resources.

Impact Analysis – Business changes can have domino effects throughout the organization. Impact analysis helps organizations understand the effect of a proposed change and make a more informed decision. An enterprise-level data lineage solution serves as a great impact analysis tool to understand business dependencies.

Root Cause Analysis – Businesses make mistakes. Data lineage helps businesses reverse-trace through the data flow to figure out the origins of the errors, so organizations can avoid repeating the same problems in the future.

Sensitive Data Security – When an organization deals with data like social security numbers or credit card information, data security is the highest priority. A data lineage solution provides a granular view of data access points. Businesses can use the information to secure the data more efficiently.

Find a Data Lineage Solution That Works For You

An enterprise data lineage solution helps you document data flow efficiently. It gives you a holistic view of what is happening in your organization while providing granular access to critical data assets.

At Global IDs, we understand the critical role data lineage plays in helping organizations stay competitive. Our data lineage platform provides automated discovery of data source, flow, and transformation. Our user-friendly visualization tools will help you with compliance requirements, data-driven decision-making, and data-centric change management.

Learn more about Global IDs Data Lineage Solution.

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