Metadata is an integral part to data management because it provides the contextual information for business data. Business data without context has no meaning. For example, the perfectly valid and clean data values “24, 38, and 41” have no meaning by themselves and cannot be used to make business decisions. However, if you knew that the context for these data values was your company's annual gross sales in billions, then you could see that sales have increased. Examples of contextual information are:
The meaning and content of the data
Policies and business rules that govern the data
Technical attributes of the data
Transformations and calculations of the data
Manipulation and usage of ...