It is a cloud-based platform by Microsoft that allows its users to share, identify, discover and understand data sources. The data is collected through crowdsourcing and users may add new information in order to enhance it. It has eliminated various challenges and issues such as lack of data availability and accessibility, no centralized data location, increased time spent on sifting through data and making sense of it, as well as relying on tribal knowledge to locate data sources. The main competitive advantage of this service is that it stores the source’s location and duplicates metadata which can be accessed whenever needed.
Why Azure Data Catalog?
- Ensures availability of data to all business units and allows for proper information dissemination amongst all departments through shared knowledge for example in online transaction processing, analytics, warehouses.
- A centralized database is formed with the help of this cloud-based platform which reduces the need to manually gather all data and check for its accuracy – thereby reducing resources, time, and effort allocated to it.
- It supports major sources such as Azure Data Lake, Azure Blob Storage, Oracle database view, SAP Business warehouse, etc.
- Data security by Azure is strong, providing permission to only authorized users to access, edit, add or delete data sources
- It supports a number of client applications such as excel, power query, SQL Server data tools, and report manager.