When Choosing Your Data Catalog, Consider Who Will Use It

by | Aug 31, 2022 | 2022, data architecture, Data catalogs, data value, Data-driven cultures

Your data catalog is the most-important part of your data stack

Data catalogs empower your workers to get more information from your data investments, gain better data insights as a whole, and make smart decisions more quickly.

And you can’t settle for just any data catalog; in order to properly integrate all kinds of knowledge and data across your organization, and to ensure your data environment does eventually outgrow your data catalog, it needs to be a data catalog built on a knowledge graph

But that’s only step one. When choosing the right data catalog for your enterprise, you need to consider its primary users. There are two primary types of data catalog users — data producers and data consumers — and your decision should be based on the needs of whichever group is most likely to embrace your catalog’s functionality.

Data Producers vs Data Consumers

What are the differences between data producers and data consumers?

  • Data producers are the technical experts — data stewards, data engineers, etc. — who’re entirely focused on the technical aspects of your data and metadata. What’s the state of our data quality? Can we accurately trace our data’s lineage? Data producers use a data catalog to bring order, clarity, and understanding to the countless rows and tables that make up your big data, and turn them into useable data products.
  • Data consumers, on the other hand, are the business users — data analysts, data scientists, etc. — who want to use your organization’s data to solve business problems. They want to be able to quickly find the data they need and then easily use it, ideally via Google style search with knowledge cards that makes finding similar, useful data easy. Your data consumers are the stakeholders who most want high-quality data products to provide the most value to your organization.

Find You a Catalog That Does Both

Most data catalogs are built to prioritize functionality for either data producers or data consumers, but not both. To get around this limited functionality, some organizations attempt to build user-friendly dashboards on top of a catalog more suited to data producers. This method is usually expensive, and it rarely works well.

data.world, on the other hand, was built from inception to serve both data producers and data consumers. Our catalog features technical lineage that allows data producers to trace their data’s journey from start to finish, ensuring its quality at every stop on the journey. And our user-friendly dashboard operates like a search engine, empowering all data workers to find exactly what they’re looking for — and potentially useful tangential data — quickly and easily. It’s the perfect choice for either stakeholder group, or both!

But don’t take our word for it. Instead, trust Forrester Research, which reported, “Data.world successfully navigates the space between data engineers, stewards and analytic professionals.”

Awww, shucks.

Maximize Your Data Catalog Investment

Some data catalogs focus on functionality for data producers, and some for data consumers. When selecting a data catalog for your enterprise business, consider which of these stakeholder groups is most likely to embrace it. Then, when you’ve identified that group, choose a catalog with features and functionality aligned with that group.

Or… maximize your investment and choose a catalog like data.world, which works for both!

Learn More about data.world

For more information on how data.world is the enterprise data catalog for any enterprise planning to implement a data mesh, request a demo today.