Metadata is a critical need for using, building, and administering the data warehouse.
For end-users, metadata is like a roadmap to the data warehouse contents.
For IT professionals, metadata supports development and administration functions.
Metadata has an active role in the data warehouse and assists in the automation of the processes.
Metadata types may be classified by the three functional areas of the data warehouse, namely, data acquisition, data storage, and information delivery. The types are linked to the processes that take places in these three areas.
Business metadata connects the business users to the data warehouse. Technical metadata is meant for the IT staff responsible for development and administration.
Effective metadata must meet a number of requirements. Metadata management is difficult; many challenges need to be faced.
Universal metadata standardization is still an elusive goal. Lack of standardization inhibits seamless passing of metadata from one tool to another.
A metadata repository is like a general-purpose information directory that includes several enhancing functions.
One metadata implementation option includes the use of a commercial metadata repository. There are other possible home-grown options.