Many people believe that meta data and meta data repositories are new concepts; however, their origins date back to the early 1970s, or the first days of computing. When we first started building computer systems, we realized that there was a "bunch of stuff" (knowledge) that was absolutely necessary for building, using and maintaining information technology (IT) systems. We learned very quickly that meta data existed throughout all of our organizations (see Figure 1). Meta data is stored in our systems, technical processes, business processes, policies and people. Essentially, we knew that we had no place to put any of this information (meta data). At this point, we realized that we needed data about the data that we were using in our computer systems.

Figure 1: Meta Data Points

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