Data is the foundation of every organization. Without good, clean, and current data, leaders struggle to make decisions and organizations fall behind. But as more and more data is captured and made available, and more systems interact with that data, it has the potential to become misleading.
Where data originates, how it moves through your organization, and how it’s changed along the way matters greatly. This is referred to as Data Lineage, and it goes far beyond simply tracing data’s path. Its goal is to provide visibility into how data is processed and transformed, where it moves from and to, and how it might have been altered over its journey. You can think of it as an audit trail for data, and as our world becomes more reliant on data, it’s an important capability for your organization.
In some industries, like Financial Services and Healthcare, Data Lineage is critical to ensuring data privacy and security. Tracing the lineage of personally identifiable information (PII), for example, can help those organizations prevent sensitive data from being unnecessarily exposed. But lineage is also helpful in other industries. It can be used to understand how data used in a sales forecast has been transformed in a way that reduces accuracy. Or, lineage can uncover that Operations is using sales forecasts to manage the supply chain, yet the sales regions conflict with product regions in ways that cause errors in product labeling or exclude regional preferences that lead to frequent stock-outs.
Data Lineage relies heavily on good Data Governance practices. Proper Data Governance ensures that the data an organization uses is accurate, consistent, and available. In other words, there is data integrity throughout the process.
When coupled with strong Data Governance, Data Lineage insights can directly connect the strategic objectives of a business to the underlying technical data assets. This link is otherwise difficult to demonstrate. Think of Data Governance and Data Lineage as tools to enable your customers to not only map strategy to data but to operationalize it in a pragmatic way.
Learn more about LumenData’s Data Lineage and Governance capabilities here. We help organizations define their Data Lineage, evaluate their data integrity, and see where issues may arise. And we can help your customers too.