Data lineage is the process of tracking the data as it moves through various stages of a business. This can be a powerful tool for businesses, as it allows them to see where their data is coming from, how it is being used, and where it is going.
TerminusDB is an immutable document graph database that provides data lineage – or in plain terms, the history of your data. You can see the entire history from where it originated, how it changed over time, and who changed it. It is also possible to visually see what changed using our diff engine.
We’ve always thought that data lineage is important for many reasons, so we’ve finally found the time to list five ways that businesses can use data lineage to their advantage:
- Improved data quality: Data lineage can help identify the source of errors or inconsistencies in the data by tracking the transformation and movement of data through the various systems and processes it passes through. This can help businesses correct these errors and ensure the data is of high quality.
- Enhanced data governance: Data lineage can help businesses understand the various sources and transformations of data, as well as the roles and responsibilities of different individuals and systems in managing and using the data. This can help businesses implement more effective data governance practices, such as establishing data ownership and access controls, and complying with relevant regulations and policies.
- Increased data security: Data lineage can help businesses identify and protect sensitive data, such as personal information or financial data, by tracking the movement and transformation of this data. By understanding where the data is coming from and how it is being used, businesses can detect and prevent unauthorized access or misuse.
- Enhanced data analytics: Data lineage can help businesses understand the origin and transformation of data, as well as the relationships between different data sets. This can help businesses more effectively use data analytics to extract insights and make informed decisions. For example, by understanding the data lineage of customer data, businesses can better understand their customers and create more targeted marketing campaigns.
- Improved data management: Data lineage can help businesses understand and manage their data assets, including how data is stored, accessed, and shared. This can help businesses streamline data management processes, such as data ingestion, transformation, and storage, and improve efficiency. Data lineage can also help businesses identify redundant or unnecessary data and discard it, freeing up storage space and resources.
If you also have immutable data, you also get improved fraud and tamper monitoring. For instance, in TerminusDB, because no data is deleted and every update is appended to the database, it’s easy to create log streams to show who changed what and when. This makes fraud and tamper detection a lot easier and can help to protect your data from unwanted manipulation.
So, if you’re serious about data and its importance for your business, data lineage is crucial to understand the history and provenance of data, ensuring its accuracy, integrity, and compliance with regulations. This enables you to make informed decisions and gain a competitive advantage.