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In 1962, the Jetsons flew through Orbit City in a driverless flying car. Every episode, viewers were amazed by this futuristic technology. In the opening theme song for the cartoon, George, Judy, Jane and Elroy Jetson cruised above the clouds on their way to daycare, school, the mall and work. Although this scene is completely fantastical, images like this set a precedent for the future of automobile technology.
Now, in 2020, Google, Tesla, GM, and Argo are all attempting to create autonomous automobiles. These companies see driverless cars as the future of transportation. They see autonomous cars as a solution to eliminate reckless driving and traffic congestion, thus increasing efficiency.
But why am I talking about the Jetsons and autonomous cars in an article about data lineage? The answer… efficiency. Everyone values efficiency and in today’s dynamic environment, people rely on technology to improve their lives. In fact, according to a survey conducted by CNBC, “More than half [the people interviewed] would let a driverless program choose the best travel routes for everyone on the road if it could cut everyone’s commute time by 30 percent overall — even if their personal commute time would increase as a result.” As this quote illustrates, people will agree to almost anything if it improves efficiency overall. In the case of large enterprises, business users are constantly looking for a way to effectively and efficiently find, understand, trust and access data. And in a large company, being able to access the information you need without waiting weeks or months for IT to fulfill your request is at the foundation of an efficient data-driven company. With Collibra Lineage, the business user is able to effectively and efficiently gain crucial context about their data, speeding up time to insight.
To answer this, it is important to note that Collibra Lineage is more than a discovery tool. While Collibra Catalog enables discovery, Collibra Lineage is used to provide context and consistency. Let’s dive into an example…
Say you are a business analyst at a large online shoe distributor. You are tasked with reporting on trends in sales for a particular brand within the EU. You turn to Collibra Catalog to find sales reports for the last three years. Once in Collibra Catalog you search for the appropriate report and come up with two options. Both of the reports are verified with five stars and the comments indicate that they are both trustworthy reports. Having two verified reports is great, but how do you know which one to choose?
Luckily, you have Collibra Lineage as a feature of your Collibra Catalog. Collibra Lineage allows you to learn more about your reports by clicking into the summary business lineage view to see where your data is coming from and how it maps into your report. This business lineage view provides the base-level context that you need to feel confident that your data is coming from a trustworthy source. You can click into the business lineage diagram to see end-to-end data lineage.
First, you click into the report titled “EU Superstore Product Sales and Profitability.” At first glance, this seems like a great report. You see five stars in the upper left hand corner and a green check mark indicating verification. However, once you click into the end-to-end business lineage, you realize that you do not recognize the database that the data is stored in; you have never seen this database before in your data environment. This raises some questions about the validity of this report. Thus, you click into the next report to see if it uses a database that you are familiar with.
This next report is titled “Customer Sales Insights.” This report shows a more thorough end-to-end business lineage that includes the origin of the data (the data set), where the data is stored (the system), privacy restrictions, data models, and the full Tableau workflow. You can see that the data set titled “Customer Product Sales Data” is stored in the CRM Cloud System. You have seen this system in other business lineage diagrams and know that it is regularly updated. You trust this system, and therefore, trust the data’s accuracy. You also see that this data set is “highly restrictive.” This is important to note because it means you must get approval in order to access this dataset. This governance feature increases your trust in the dataset because you know that it is protected and accessed only by people with permission. With Collibra Lineage, you are able to find the best possible report to generate business insights.
Once you know where your data is coming from and trust its sources, you now can confidently present your findings to your boss, knowing that you are using the right data to drive business decisions. And if your boss or anyone else asks you where your report came from? No problem! You can easily go back into Collibra Lineage and export a PDF form of your business lineage diagram to give to your boss so they can feel confident in your work.
So in 2020, we may not have flying cars, but we do have autonomous cars. These autonomous cars, like Google’s Waymo, are seen as paving the way to a Jetson like future; a world where people seamlessly travel around cities without congestion or accidents. This desire for an autonomous car comes from the human desire to always find the most efficient and effective solution to a problem (in the case of cars it’s traffic and accidents). This notion has not changed since the 1960s with the Jetsons and will not change for decades to come. Like the autonomous car, Collibra Lineage is paving the path to ensuring self-service, efficient, trustworthy, and accurate business decisions.
Without Collibra Lineage, business users are trapped in a cycle of dependence. They are not autonomous because they rely on IT to give them access to the data they need to run analyses and generate insights. At large companies where data is stored in numerous locations, business users can spend weeks or even months finding the right data and then weeks waiting for approval. Collibra Catalog combats this inefficiency by giving business users access to the data they need. And Collibra Lineage gives business users the full context about data so that they can better understand and trust their data. And with Collibra Lineage, they can ensure that trustworthy and accurate data is being used to drive business decisions.
Prem Krishna is responsible for the Catalog platform architecture and driving key value added capabilities including Data Lineage.
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