Data classification: Managing metadata

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Originating Author: David Floyer

Metadata is data about data, and enables data management. Provenance and respect for order are guiding principles for data management. Metadata includes when data was created, who and/or what created it, where the data was used, and when it was destroyed. We need to be confident that the data was not changed without record. Metadata is a key enabler for data classification.

Applications and users create data, and should create the metadata at the time of creation or use. Metadata is additive in nature, and does not need a single point of control. Operating systems, applications, system management software, databases, storage management software and storage hardware are all important contributors to the creation and storage of metadata. The creation of metadata has to be automated for applications, and made as simple as possible for end-users.

Action Item: The key imperative for enabling data classification is automation of the creation of metadata. The first and most important step is to agree metadata types, and the layout and structure of each type of metadata.

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