The Metadata enigma

Ganesan Shankaranarayanan, Adir Even

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Metadata, the layer of data abstraction, is among the more enigmatic elements in information systems. Metadata is viewed as a system's data dictionary, capturing definitions of data entities and the relationships among them. There are six different types of metadata types: infrastructure metadata, model metadata, process metadata, quality metadata, interface metadata, and Administration metadata. Metadata is likely to be useful in rational, data-driven, analytical decision-making scenarios. It would be reasonable to assume that a middle-tier manager and a CEO would each benefit in different ways. Decision making is a multi-stage process where preliminary cycles of elaboration and search for data may precede the final decision. Metadata may affect not only that decision but also the efficiency of preliminary stages of data exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)


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