Data catalogs were initially a solution that was mainly accessible to enterprise-level businesses, but now mid-market companies are increasingly looking to data catalogs to help manage their data assets. As the world of big data continues to evolve and become more commonplace in every industry, data catalogs have become necessary to keep data organized, accessible and insightful. In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at how data catalogs benefit mid-market companies and why you should consider a data catalog for your solution if you haven’t already.
A Brief Introduction
Mid-market companies operate in a fast-paced and incredibly competitive environment, and leveraging data insights is often a key component in remaining competitive. However, with the amount of data that your average organization takes, it can be hard to manage and derive data-driven insights without the right tools. That’s where data catalogs can make a huge difference.
In short, mid-market companies in today’s competitive landscape can’t afford to leave data catalogs out of their tech stakes. The range of benefits and advantages these tools offer makes them well worth the investment. With a data catalog in place, a mid-market company can make the most of the data it collects and truly leverage it to make data-driven decisions like never before.
Common Challenges Faced by Mid-Market Companies
When it comes to managing data, mid-market companies face a variety of challenges. These challenges may include:
- Volume of data — The sheer volume of big data that mid-market companies take in regularly can quickly become disorganized and overwhelming. This data often comes from numerous disparate sources and different formats. Of course, this makes it extremely challenging to ensure data remains consistent and maintains a high level of quality.
- Lack of visibility — Disorganized data can also lead to a lack of data visibility and discoverability across an organization. A centralized system can help to mitigate issues like data silos, duplicate data and other discoverability problems. If your team members can’t find or access the data they need, it’s difficult for them to make timely data-driven decisions.
- Data security — If mid-market companies don’t have their data organized, it can lead to data governance and security issues. Data breaches and cyberattacks are always a threat, and it’s best to utilize tools that reduce the likelihood of these attacks. A lack of governance protocols can lead to regulatory penalties, exposure of sensitive information and damage to the reputation of a company.
- Data collaboration — Mid-market companies without data catalogs may run into problems with collaboration. When data isn’t centralized, it can be difficult for different departments to share and collaborate effectively.
The Role of Data Catalogs
In the modern data-driven world of business, data catalogs play a more crucial role than ever in addressing the challenges mid-market companies face. Data catalogs act as a central repository for the data assets that an organization collects, enabling companies to gain more visibility and control over their data.
While the primary role of a data catalog is to help keep data assets organized and ensure data quality, it also serves a myriad of other roles in an organization. These roles include data discovery, data lineage, data governance, data security and much more. We’ll touch on some of these functions in a bit.
Overall, data catalogs serve as a valuable tool for mid-market companies, empowering them to effectively manage their data assets, enhance data discoverability, promote collaboration and maintain data security.
What Are the Benefits of Data Catalogs for Mid-Market Companies?
Data catalogs offer a wide range of benefits for mid-market companies. These benefits include:
- Improved data quality and organization — Data catalogs provide a centralized repository for an organization’s data assets. This prevents data duplicates and data silos that often pop up when an organization doesn’t have a centralized location to keep data. This, in turn, improves data quality and ensures it stays organized across every department in a company.
- Improved data governance — Data catalogs also help to improve data governance. With a data catalog, organizations can access data lineage information, see where their data comes from and ensure the quality and consistency of data. This also helps organizations improve data security, which is essential for maintaining compliance with industry regulations.
- Enhanced data discoverability — Data catalogs also enhance data discovery. By making data more accessible, organizations can enable self-service analytics. This means that any member of an organization, whether they’re technical users or not, can easily search for data insights and make data-driven decisions without always having to rely on the data team.
- Data collaboration — Data catalogs also prompt collaboration between departments and teams. With a unified data platform, there is more access to data, and teams can more easily share their insights and findings. Communication and cooperation within an organization are always a plus, and data catalogs make it much simpler.
How To Get Started
So, now that you know the benefits of implementing a data catalog, you may be wondering where to start. Any mid-market company can utilize a data catalog by following the right steps. Here’s how to get started:
- Assess your data — First, you need to assess your current data environment and determine your needs. Look at your data sources and put together a clear outline of what you need cataloged.
- Choose the right data catalog solution — One of the most important steps is choosing the right data catalog solution. Consider the different data catalog providers and ensure the features they offer meet your needs. Data catalog solutions like Secoda have numerous features to offer all the benefits we’ve outlined today and more.
- Define data catalog governance — Prepare a data catalog governance policy to ensure all of your team members are on the same page. This includes details like who can access the data catalog, who the data stewards are and more.
- Catalog your data assets — Once you’ve implemented your data catalog solution, make sure to put it to work. Start cataloging and categorizing your data. A quality solution can help guide you through this process and automate many of the more time-consuming aspects.
- Train your team — Make sure to make the most of your data catalog by training your team on how to use it. This will ensure everyone understands the features of your catalog and feels empowered to utilize it in their everyday tasks.
- Monitor and maintain your data catalog — Finally, make sure to regularly review your data needs and monitor how your data catalog has improved your processes. Remember to keep your catalog up to date and ensure data is accurate and consistent.
Best Practices to Follow
You can also make the most of your data catalog by implementing industry best practices. Here are some best practices to get you started:
- Implement a data governance strategy — We’ve mentioned it a few times, but it’s worth mentioning again. A clear data governance strategy can make your organization run more efficiently and save you a lot of trouble down the line. Make sure to define roles and responsibilities and clearly establish data standards and processes.
- Regularly assess data quality — Make sure to assess data quality and consistency regularly. Establish a procedure for regular data assessment so you can maintain data quality standards.
- Foster a data-driven culture — Make sure to focus on fostering the data culture and data literacy in your organization. Providing training and education to your employees will ensure they can effectively use data while also improving their overall job satisfaction.
- Get feedback from stakeholders — Finally, make sure you’re regularly checking in with your team members to see how they feel about your data processes. See if they have suggestions for optimizations and improvements. Continually updating and enhancing your processes is essential to remain competitive.
Try Secoda for Free
If you’re looking for a comprehensive data catalog solution, Secoda is here to help. Secoda is the first AI-powered data catalog, search, lineage and monitoring platform. The numerous features Secoda offers will help to double your team’s efficiency and ensure you’re making the most of your valuable data. Try Secoda for free today to see if it’s right for your business.