Metadata has always been around. There used to be a theory that organizations needed to devise one and only one way of defining a concept, making it official, and then keeping it in one place for everyone to access and use. That goal was never achieved in most organizations, and thus the information lifecycle continues to evolve. We create reference data, master data, metadata, operational metadata, business metadata and process metadata, and I guess it is all really data. Or is it?

The elusive concept here is the connection between all of these new and often repetitive ways of revisiting our information. Organizations continue to struggle with the need to map, the need to interpret and, ultimately, the need to identify. We’ve reached the world of “Metadata 2015.” Because our data will always exist in more than one place it is separated in some way, yet it is similar or absolutely the same in another. Most of us may think we are seeing things differently when we look at these fragmented pieces – whether in the cloud, in stored and downloaded segments, or on our devices. Often this is the case, but sometimes it really is not.

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