Key Takeaways

Wayne Eckerson and Kevin Petrie summarized the key points heard during the CDO TechVent session. Here is a summary of their conversation: 

  • Wayne’ s “Age of Metadata” seemed to resonate with the audience and speakers. 
  • Audience member Bob Seiner commented that although a data catalog automates metadata collection, it’s important to spend time with business people to understand how they’re using the data catalog. Can’t replace the people element! 
  • There was a lot of discussion around tailoring a data catalog to individual personas. A single catalog can support multiple personas if access controls are applied correctly. This made Wayne quip:  “It’s important to person-ify the data catalog”
  • Lewis Wynne-Jones mentioned the “Immaculate GUI” which amused Kevin and Wayne who also agreed with the point of having an easy-to-use GUI. 
  • Kevin was taken aback by the percentage of people with “No plans to implement a data catalog” in the survey data. Wayne responded that this creates an opening for mid-market products that are affordable, fast to deploy, and easy to use. 
  • There was quite a bit of discussion about the impact of large language models on the data catalog market. Here’s the summary: 
    • LLMs are good for giving users a “warm start” as Kaycee Lai said 
    • They can automatically create table descriptions, field labels, glossary descriptions
    • But someone still needs to check for accuracy. 
    • They can help with natural language search to improve data discovery 
    • LLMs pose a security risk if pointed at actual data. LLMs are thus best used for metadata not for data. 
    • Kevin mentioned the rise of Small Language Models that model domain specific text and thus deliver more accurate results.
  • There was also lots of discussion around data virtualization, which all three of our sponsors support. The feeling was “What’s the point of providing access to metadata, if you can’t access the data.” We couldn’t agree more!

Some speakers joked that we’ll be discussing metadata swamps in three years!