How can we easily share existing knowledge about data sources
throughout our organisation?
Most large organisations consist of numerous departments and
divisions performing different functions, each of which may have
their own specialist systems with their own data. The issue is that
while the information exists, it is rather difficult for staff to
discover and locate it between departments.
This can lead to:
- Duplication of data and systems
- Missed opportunities
- Inefficient use of resources
To combat this issue, we have developed a Data Discovery tool which
allows the organisation to create and search a catalogue of data
The Data Discovery tool provides an attractive graph-based
interface to create and explore a catalogue of related data assets
and has the following benefits:
- Sufficiently general to represent any kind of information about
- Simple, clear, graphical, uncluttered, non-IT-technical, and
therefore appealing to business users
- Supports 'drag and drop' graph creation via a range of standard
We believe that this feature combination is unique in the data
management market. Many other commercial enterprise repository
tools are equally general, but do not offer the interactive
manipulation via a standard browser. It can also been difficult to
eliminate their IT-technical formalisms from the interface. With
these other tools the population and maintenance of the data
catalogue therefore has to remain in the hands of a few specialist
technical users. In contrast, the Data Discovery tool is designed
to be usable throughout the organisation and therefore has a higher
chance of remaining up to date.
The graphs are automatically generated from underlying data as the
user navigates around the repository. The graphs are supplemented
by text describing the properties of the selected object.
The underlying model that defines all the kinds of things that are
of interest, their properties, how they may relate to each other,
and how they are represented with icons, is completely
configurable. It is configured through a graph-based interface
similar to that used for the regular views.
The tool provides an attractive solution for the need to publish
information on data assets across a large organisation, and
importantly, to keep it up to date.