A Data Catalog is a metadata driven application that relates information about one or more sources of data to be collaborated on, in order to enrich an organization's understanding of the data. This includes perspectives on where the data originates and what the data actually means (for example, what each table/entity and column attribute or metric actually means). Depending on the size of your organization and it's indivual needs, it may also include information regarding the people who are responsible for the data, a data feature, or an entire volume of data sources.
By providing the above perspectives on the data by means of tagging, adding descriptions, comments, etc., the understanding of the data in context can be enriched. In so doing, the enriching information can be presented in a legible way that is referenceable and retrievable by means of search, etc. This also provides a means of collaboration. Collaboration is a metric that can be identified as a reflection of how much a system, the data, or the data catalog are being used as part of the data management strategy of the organization. This increases ROI on data investments, but more importantly creates a culture of accountability, self-service, and options for the data and it's context, which all help to evolve your data and analytics projects and efforts, by way of contribution. This enables data democratization efforts within organizations.
Revive meaningless data by expressing it in familiar and consistent business concepts. Therefore, anyone can discover, comprehend, and use data to answer important questions and create data driven strategies. With unexplainable data, you overlook its value, leave crucial business problems unresolved, and prevent many knowledgeable and talented employees from data-driven decision making.