Technology plays a key role in data governance. Organizations need a variety of tools to create, manage, and enforce policies, standards, and rules. They need to define and document terms, curate metadata, and address data governance requests, issues, and problems, among other things. Until recently, organizations have used spreadsheets, web pages, and email to handle data governance tasks. But these tools are unsuitable as the scope of a data governance program expands to encompass more terms, data domains, and people.
Today, there are many software vendors who offer tools to support data governance processes and tasks. Increasingly, these tools are bundled into a unified data governance platform. These platforms are typically anchored by a data catalog, which serves as a repository for organizational metadata, a vehicle for supporting self-service analytics, and a method for governing data access. The catalog extracts metadata from a variety of data sources, primarily operational systems, but also reports, dashboards, machine learning models, and SQL queries. Third party applications, including business intelligence (BI) tools, collaboration tools, and other data catalogs access a data catalog via application programming interfaces.