Business Metadata: Capturing Enterprise Knowledge

1st Edition

Authors: W.H. Inmon Bonnie O'Neil Lowell Fryman
Paperback ISBN: 9780123737267
eBook ISBN: 9780080552200
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 27th September 2007
Page Count: 312
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People have a hard time communicating, and also have a hard time finding business knowledge in the environment. With the sophistication of search technologies like Google, business people expect to be able to get their questions answered about the business just like you can do an internet search. The truth is, knowledge management is primitive today, and it is due to the fact that we have poor business metadata management.

This book is about all the groundwork necessary for IT to really support the business properly. By providing not just data, but the context behind the data. For the IT professional, it will be tactically practical--very "how to" and a detailed approach to implementing best practices supporting knowledge management. And for the the IT or other manager who needs a guide for creating and justifying projects, it will help provide a strategic map.

Key Features

  • First book that helps businesses capture corporate (human) knowledge and unstructured data, and offer solutions for codifying it for use in IT and management.

  • Written by Bill Inmon, one of the fathers of the data warehouse and well-known author, and filled with war stories, examples, and cases from current projects.

  • Very practical, includes a complete metadata acquisition methodology and project plan to guide readers every step of the way.

  • Includes sample unstructured metadata for use in self-testing and developing skills.


The market includes IT professionals, including those in consulting, working on systems that will deliver better knowledge management capability. This includes people in these positions: data architects; data analysts, SOA architects; metadata analysts, repository (metadata data warehouse) managers. Also, vendors that have a metadata component as part of their systems or tools.

Table of Contents

Business Metadata The Quest for Business Understanding Section I: Rationale and Planning

  1. What is Business Metadata
    a. What is Metadata? i. A brief history of metadata ii. Types of Metadata
  2. Technical
  3. Business
  4. Structured versus Unstructured MD b. What is Business MD? i. Some examples and usage c. When does data become MD? d. Who are the users of business metadata? e. A grid of metadata f. Business metadata and reference files
  5. The Value and Benefits of Business Metadata
    a. Metadata Provides Context: i. Example: the number "42" ii. The road sign analogy iii. The library card catalog analogy b. Business Metadata Provides Historical Perspective c. Contextual Benefits in Analytical Processing i. Simple Reports ii. Drill Downs iii. Exception Reporting iv. Heuristic Analysis v. KPI Analysis vi. Multivariate Analysis vii. Pattern Analysis viii. Spreadsheets ix. Screens d. Hidden MD e. The Information Supply Chain i. The Business Feedback Loop
  6. Who is responsible for Business Metadata? a. Who Has the Most to Gain from Business Metadata? b. Stewardship versus Ownership c. Business versus Technical Ownership d. Is Stewardship of Business Metadata any different? i. Data Stewardship ii. Metadata Stewardship iii. Business Metadata Stewardship e. Stewardship Challenges f. Why should MD be funded? (Bill) i. How and why should business metadata be funded
  7. The business


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2008
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

W.H. Inmon

Affiliations and Expertise

Inmon Data Systems, Castle Rock, CO, USA

Bonnie O'Neil

Affiliations and Expertise

Project Performance Corporation, Denver, CO, USA

Lowell Fryman

Lowell is responsible for directing thought leadership and advisory services in the Customer Success practice of Collibra. He has been a practitioner in the data management industry for three decades and is recognized as a leader in data governance, analytics and data quality having hands-on experience with implementations across most industries. Lowell is a co-author of the book “Business Metadata; Capturing Enterprise Knowledge”. Lowell is a past adjunct professor at Daniels College of Business, Denver University, a past President and current VP of Education for DAMA-I Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC), a DAMA-I Charter member and member of the Data Governance Professionals Organization. He is also an author and reviewer on the DAMA-I Data Management Book of Knowledge (DMBOK). He focuses on practical data governance practices and has trained thousands of professionals in data governance, data warehousing, data management and data quality techniques. You can read his Data Governance Blogs at

Affiliations and Expertise

Collibra, USA