At its simplest interpretation, the term Metadata translates to Data About Data – hence, it
is actually background data about the content included, and quality and condition of, the IT
information being talked about. Metadata may come either in paper-map form or in digital
Metadata is important so that end-users can figure out whether the data they find is
actually important and useful to them or not. Metadata Management may involve proper
documentation of this key data in the event that key employees should switch to other
employers or retire from the industry.
By 2010, Metadata Management may become a vital way to handle the information
infrastructure of the organization. Metadata Management might even be considered one of the
leading strategic technologies by year 2008 for the IT industry, because it permits
metadata optimization, metadata abstraction, and metadata semantic reconciliation so that
consistency, re-use, integrity, as well as shareability become possible.
Company decision-makers which are trying to understand how Metadata Management should be
used as part of strategic planning must consider how it fits into their organizational
plans. They must then ask whether it is suitable to keep investing in such technology –
perhaps in a test project run before full implementation throughout the organization
commences. Metadata Management may be considered a strategic technology if it can be
appropriately implemented within the next three years (from 2007.)
One industry that is expected to make full use of Metadata Management in the near future
involves offering insurance within the GIS occupation, though the level of metadata to be
provided about the data sets here has not been fully determined yet.