Data Catalog Architecture for Enterprise Data Assets

Data Catalog Architecture Patterns



Table of content

Introduction to Data Catalog Architecture

"By 2019, data and analytics companies that have agile curated internal and external datasets for a variety of content writers would recognize twice the market benefits of those that do not," according to the study. On the other hand, organizations continue to fail to comprehend the importance of metadata management and cataloging. Given that data unification and collaboration are becoming increasingly important success factors for businesses, it's worth revisiting the data catalog and its advantages for the entire enterprise, as it will soon become the pillar of the data-driven strategy. Data Catalog is a comprehensive list of all data assets in an organization intended to assist data professionals in rapidly locating the most suitable data for any analytical or business purpose.

What is Data Catalog?

A data catalog is a list of all the data that an entity has. It is a library where data is indexed, organized, and stored for an entity. Most data catalogs provide data sources, data use information, and data lineage, explaining where the data came from and how it involved into its current state. Organizations may use a data catalog to centralize information and classify what data they have and separate data based on its content and source. A data catalog's goal is to help you understand your data and learn what you didn't know before. 

Some Important points

  1. As a result, make sure you don't leave any data out of the catalog. Your Big Data activities can also include a data cataloging service. 

  2. Make it a part of your daily routine rather than a separate task. Align the data plan with the catalog.

  3. Set accessibility rules to avoid unauthorized data access.

Why Data Catalog is Important?

Listed below are the reasons Why Data Catalog is important:

Dataset Searching

Data catalog scan by facets, keywords, and business terms with robust search capabilities. Non-technical users can appreciate the ability to search using natural language. The ability to rank search results based on relevance and frequency of use is particularly useful and advantageous.

Dataset Evaluation

It provides the ability to assess a dataset's suitability for an analysis use case without having to download or procure data first is critical. Previewing a dataset, seeing all related metadata, seeing user ratings, reading user reviews and curator annotations, and viewing data quality information are important evaluation features.

Data Access

It helps in its journey from search to assessment to data access should be a smooth one, with the catalog understanding access protocols and having direct access or collaborating with access technologies. Access safeguards for confidentiality, privacy, and enforcement of sensitive data are among the data access functions.

Read more about Data Quality - Everything you need to know

How does Data Catalog work?

To accommodate massive data volumes and high-performance computing, today's data production must scale. To adapt to data, technology, and consumer needs, it must be versatile and resilient. It must ensure that essential data information is readily available for customers to access and comprehend. It must be able to handle all data speeds, from streaming to batch ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load). It should be able to handle all forms of data, from relational to unstructured and semi-structured. It must allow all data users access to data while still protecting confidential data, and none of this is possible without metadata.

Source Data

They are connecting to the necessary data source. Data from within the company as well as data from outside sources are examples of sources. Relationally structured, semi-structured, multi-structured, and unstructured data are all included.

Ingest Data

Including data in the analytics process. Batch and real-time ingestion methods are available, ranging from batch ETL to data stream processing. Scalability and elasticity are critical for adapting to changes in data volumes and speeds.

Refine Data

Data lakes, data centers, and master data/reference data hubs are all examples of shareable data stores. The data refinery is in charge of data cleansing, integration, aggregation, and other forms of data transformations.

Access data

Access to data is provided in various ways, including query, data virtualization, APIs, and data services, for both people and the applications and algorithms that use it.

Analyze Data

Turning data into information and insights includes basic reporting to data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Consume Data

Data consumption is the point at which data and people become inextricably linked. Data consumption aims to get from data and observations to decisions, behavior, and effects.

Key Ingredients for a Successful Data Catalog

All data catalogs are not created equal. It's critical to filter players based on key capabilities when selecting a data catalog. As a result, many data catalogs, including Talend Data Catalog, depend on critical components that will ensure your data strategy's effectiveness. Let's take a look at some of the essential features:

Connectors and easy to curation tools to build your single place of trust

The data catalog's ability to map physical datasets in your dataset, regardless of their origin or source, is enhanced by having a large number of connectors. You can extract metadata from business intelligence software, data integration tools, SQL queries, enterprise apps like Salesforce or SAP, or data modeling tools using powerful capabilities, allowing you to onboard people to verify and certify your datasets for extended use

Automation to gain speed and agility

Data stewards won't have to waste time manually linking data sources thanks to improved automation. They'll then concentrate on what matters most: fixing data quality problems and curating them for the whole company's good. Of course, you'll need the support of stewards to complement automation – to enrich and curate datasets over time.

Powerful search to quickly explore large datasets

The quest should be multifaceted as the primary component of a catalog, allowing you to assign various criteria to perform an advanced search. Search parameters include things like name, height, time, owner, and format.

To conduct root cause analysis, use Lineage

Lineage allows you to link a dashboard to the data it displays. Understanding the relationship between various forms and sources of data relies heavily on lineage and relationship exploration. So, if your dashboard shows erroneous data, a steward may use the lineage to figure out where the issue is coming from.

Glossary to add business context to your data

The ability to federate people around the data is essential for governance. To do so, they must have a shared understanding of words, definitions, and how to relate them to the data. As a result, the glossary is helpful. If you look for PII in a data catalog, you'll find the following data sources: It's especially useful in the context of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), where you need to take stock of all the data you have.

Profiling to avoid polluting your data lake

When linking multiple data sources, data profiling is essential for determining your data quality in terms of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and consistency. It will save your time and enable you to quickly spot inaccuracies, allowing you to warn stewards before polluting the data lake.

Benefits of Data Catalog

The whole company gains when data professionals can help themselves to the data they need without IT interference, without relying on experts or colleagues for guidance, without being limited to just the assets they are familiar with, and without having to worry about governance enforcement.

The improved context for data

Analysts can find comprehensive explanations of data, including input from other data citizens, and understand how data is important to the company.

Increased operational efficiency

A data catalog establishes an efficient division of labor between users and IT—data people can access and interpret data more quickly. At the same time, IT workers can concentrate on higher-priority tasks.

Reduced risk

Analysts may be more confident that they're dealing with data that they've been granted permission to use for a specific reason and that they're following business and data privacy regulations. They can also quickly scan annotations and metadata for null fields or incorrect values that might skew the results.

Greater success with data management initiatives

It is difficult for data analysts to identify, view, plan, and trust data, the less likely BI and big data projects will be successful.

Better and faster data analysis

The Data professionals will respond rapidly to the problems, opportunities, and challenges with analysis and answers based on all of the company's most appropriate, contextual data.

A data catalog will also assist the company in achieving particular technological and business goals. A data catalog can help discover new opportunities for cross-selling, up-selling, targeted promotions, and more by supplying analysts with a single, holistic view of their customers.

Click to explore What is a Data Pipeline?

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Role of the Data Catalog

Metadata is a thread that connects all other building materials, including ways for ingestion to be aware of sources, refinement to be connected to ingestion, and so on. Every component of the architecture contributes to the development and use of metadata.

Data Acquisition

  • Sourcing and ingestion is the point at which data acquisition is continuously updated with record metadata of all data within the analytics ecosystem system.
  • The intelligent data catalog includes AI / ML capabilities for retrieving and extracting metadata, reducing the manual effort required to capture metadata, and improving the level of metadata completeness.

Data Modification

  1. Collects information on data flow across data pipelines, as well as all data flow changes. This involves all data pipelines that send data to data lakes and warehouses and data processing pipelines.

  2. This metadata, which is derived from data perception, offers lineage information critical for accurate data and a helpful tool for tracking and troubleshooting issues.

Data Availability and Data

  1. Analysts rely heavily on the data catalog to collect the data they need, interpret and evaluate data, and know-how to navigate the data. Metadata also connects data access and data governance, ensuring that access restrictions are implemented.

  2. Data valuation processes benefit from collecting metadata regarding access rates, and learning who accesses data the most frequently aids data professionals.

Consuming Data

  1. This allows for collecting metadata on who uses what data, what kinds of use cases are used, and what effect the data has on the enterprise. Data processing and data-driven cultures are built on a deep understanding of data users and their data dependencies.

  2. Everyone dealing with data should be aware of the amount of knowledge available on data policy, preparation, and management.

Managing Data Governance, Administration, and Infrastructure Management

  1. It is founded on data understanding, data processing systems, data uses, and consumers.

  2. Data collection systems are combined, and data processing processes are supported as information is managed as metadata in the data catalog. 


Data-driven organizations are a goal for many businesses. They want more accurate, quicker analytics without losing security. That is why data processing is becoming increasingly necessary and challenging. A data catalog makes data storage easy to handle, as well as meets the various demands. It's challenging to manage data in the era of big data, data lakes, and self-service. Data catalog assists in meeting those difficulties. Active data curation is a vital digital data processing method and a key component of data catalog performance.

Read more about Top 9 Challenges of Big Data Architecture | Overview

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