Growing Our Own: An Agile Approach to Metadata

Presentation Summary

Christina Drum and Mike Ellison; University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Growing Our Own: An Agile Approach to Metadata

This presentation will describe the design concepts and technical approach underlying UNLV's development of a home-grown, extensible, enterprise Metadata Repository. Several factors influenced our approach. Ultimately, we wanted to manage multiple subject areas of metadata that could each stand alone, potentially with its own set of applications. Concomitantly, we wanted the ability to establish associations and track a complete lineage of relationships across the various subject areas. Resource constraints required us to build this out over time (years), so we needed a design that readily allows for expansion. We also knew that some subject areas would be updated via automated processes, while some must be manually tracked; we wanted the ability to develop and integrate both. These considerations led us to develop a central metadata repository, maintained in a SQL server database, and designed around a type/subtype paradigm borrowed from object-oriented programming. The repository is populated with several integrated subject areas, including: Data Definitions (informational elements having strategic value to the institution); Relational Database Metadata (RDBMS systems, tables, and columns); ETL Metadata (data warehousing jobs and sequences); Reporting Elements (as presented in BI interfaces and applications); and Project Management Metadata (used in data mart development for the distributed collection of requirements and business metadata). Additional areas of interest to be developed include Business Process Metadata, the tracking of Data Feeds, and Data Stewardship responsibilities. UNLV’s Metadata Repository has become a central component of our (young) institutional data warehouse and BI initiative. We hope that sharing our approach will be of value to others who are seeking comparable solutions to "the metadata problem" in their organizations.

Presentation Speaker(s)

Christina Drum
Mike Ellison

Presentation Files

You must be a registered member of the HEDW and properly logged in to view this content