Data lineage is a map of a data’s journey over time, which provides information and context about the data throughout its lifecycle. Data lineage tracks where the data came from, how it moved out from its initial position, where it is going, what path it is taking, alterations that were made to it, and ultimately, where would it end up.
For businesses, it is important to know the origin, transformations and results the data has been through in order to keep track of it, which will help them gain better insights and make more accurate predictions with trusted data. It is also vital for organisations to know such things to improve their data governance.
Data governance enables appropriate and consistent governance policies are applied to data as it moves across an organisation. It is also becoming a requirement for regulatory compliance. The value of data lineage comes from the fact that it can help clarify the ownership, availability, security as well as quality of any data being used.
Data lineage can help companies:
Proactively identify and fix data-related gaps
Identify and track risks in the data flow
Simplify the process of moving data across multiple systems
Make the data movement process more transparent
Understand the impact of changes in data to downstream analytics, applications and business processes
Take a more proactive approach to change management
Improve operational efficiency and reduce costs by eliminating the duplication of data and data silos
With growing amounts of data integrated into various technologies and data transformation tools, companies will be bombarded by a complex web of the history of data. However, with data lineage, they will be able to understand the processes their data went through inside or outside their organisation.
In that sense, data lineage increases an organisation’s understanding and governance of its data, which is incredibly valuable in today’s era, where businesses are subjected to a continuous and consistent flow of data.