One way to define a data catalog is to define what it’s not. Simply, a data catalog is not a data dictionary, although there are similarities. Unfortunately, many people still confuse the two.
The major difference is that a data dictionary is geared to technical professionals and contains technical metadata whereas a data catalog is geared to business professionals and contains business metadata.
This is not to say that a data catalog can’t contain technical metadata—many do. But it’s imperative that your data catalog has robust access controls so it can control what content is displayed.
If your data catalog displays technical metadata to business users they won’t use the data catalog. They’ll see the content as “otherworldly” and stop using the data catalog.
“A data dictionary is geared to technical professionals, whereas a data catalog is geared to business users.”
Defining a Data Catalog