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An intelligent enterprise needs a trusted data foundation to be able to run their critical operational and analytical systems and drive better outcomes. The practice of metadata management — describing, cataloging, and understanding all the data in your enterprise, as well as orchestrating data-driven processes for data governance, AI and analytics, data privacy, risk and compliance, and more — is the often-overlooked linchpin to a trusted data foundation.

Recently, metadata management has become exponentially more complicated with the growing number, type and location of data sources, driven by the demands of digital business.

Current Metadata Management Challenges

Gartner states that “in many organizations, metadata management is still an intensive manual task that is performed by data architects and data modelers and driven by enterprise architecture requirements for specific use cases.  Enterprise metadata management (EMM) takes place when you need to share and govern that metadata between use cases and implementations.”

One of the toughest challenges is not having the tools to be able to gather end-to-end metadata information from a variety of data sources, business processes, and data operations in the complex modern data landscapes. There are too many point solutions necessary to manage metadata and governance across the full enterprise and, as Gartner states, too much manual work to integrate all the data and metadata across the enterprise

Then there’s the struggle to effectively secure and govern all the data and data processes across diverse data sources, as well as difficulty in managing differing levels of metadata, data quality, and security access across diverse data sources.  Businesses are often unable to track errors back to the root cause.

There is also a lack of visibility into who can and is viewing, accessing and controlling the data across the entire enterprise, hence difficulty meeting the growing demands of compliance regulations. There is little insight into what processes and operations are happening on the data across the enterprise.

In addition, there is difficulty delivering, operationalizing, and managing the promise of machine learning and AI and managing the metadata for machine learning across an end-to-end architecture.

SAP’s Enterprise Metadata Management Solution

SAP has a unique combination of products that address the growing challenges in this technology space.  SAP Data Hub, SAP Information Steward, and SAP PowerDesigner work together to address the metadata management chaos.

Customers have been using SAP Information Steward and SAP PowerDesigner for many years to manage their metadata management needs.  As the complexity of landscapes started to increase, with more IoT, Big Data, hybrid, and highly distributed environments, SAP developed SAP Data Hub, which was announced 2 years ago.  SAP Data Hub was designed to be an all-in-one data orchestration solution that discovers, refines, enriches, and governs any type, variety, and volume of data (and metadata) across the entire distributed data landscape. It supports intelligent enterprises by rapidly delivering trustworthy data to the right users with the right context at the right time.

SAP’s vision for SAP Data Hub is to use metadata to unify advanced data, process, analytics, AI/ML, and IoT orchestration across diverse, siloed enterprise architectures, managing complexity to better support data governance, risk & compliance, data analysis, and data value use cases. SAP Data Hub delivers end-to-end metadata management critical capabilities that go far beyond simple data cataloging solutions, plus a ground breaking, ML-driven, orchestration and pipelining platform.

SAP Data Hub simplifies metadata management to:

  • Create a single, comprehensive view of data, establishing a virtual metadata catalog, allowing other apps to subscribe/consume metadata and to automate/suggest

  • Leverage a metadata catalog to discover, preview, profile, perform data lineage, apply rule validation and prepare data for data orchestration and data science initiatives

  • Map policies with data sets for monitoring

  • Track and visualize metadata and lineage to show how data flows through and between processes, data operations, and systems through time

  • Leverage guided machine learning models to build pipelines that automate and/or suggest governance processes

  • Train and define new ML/AI processes

  • Manage end-to-end lifecycle of models, data, and metadata

  • Hybrid architecture for seamless metadata collaboration across Cloud & on-premise

  • Leverage capabilities of and connectivity to existing metadata solutions, along with other SAP and non-SAP sources

When it was released, SAP Information Steward pioneered a new approach to data stewardship and metadata management, going beyond just fixing data to solving the information challenge.  SAP Information Steward was designed to for data profiling and monitoring, metadata management, and information policy management. It helps improve collaboration among data workers, business users, and IT. And it equips them to understand, analyze, and quantify the impact of data – and data quality – on enterprise processes, analytics, and governance initiatives.

Use SAP Information Steward to:

  • Define business policies, terms, and rules along with financial quantification and business value analysis

  • Provide visibility into lineage and impact analysis

  • Deliver data quality dashboards and scorecards; including event-driven notifications for rule enforcement

  • Assess quality of data assets

  • Manage what-if analysis for data quality initiatives

SAP PowerDesigner has also been an award-winning solution that was designed to capture, analyze, and present an organization's strategies, requirements, processes, data, and IT landscapes in an integrated environment. Using industry standards, organizations can leverage rich metadata and use diagrams to drive understanding and promote shared outcomes.

Use SAP PowerDesigner to:

  • Document and instantly share the strategy, requirements, process, data, and landscape architecture with the entire organization

  • Create and maintain consistent connections among business and IT artifacts to help enforce corporate standards

  • Meet regulatory requirements by ensuring traceability of processes and data lineage through all the systems, applications, and services across your enterprise

  • Highlight the critical path from the outermost linked artifacts to the point of origin


Today, more than 18,000 customers benefit from the combination SAP’s metadata management solutions. We have a large and growing services, support, and partner network, including new OEM partners for SAP Data Hub (Lenovo & Virtustream). We also offer a variety of free educational programs for our customers to get the most value from their solutions – like OpenSAP (free online multi-day courses), educational YouTube channels and HANA Academy(free online educational videos), SAP Bits & Bites for Busy People (15 min & 30 min on-demand educational webinars), and more.

SAP Positioned as a Leader in 2019 Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions”

SAP recently announced that independent analyst firm Gartner Inc. has named SAP as a Leader in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions.”*

The report recognized SAP as a leading provider based on its “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision,” after evaluating SAP’s metadata management solutions, including SAP Data HubSAP Information Steward, and SAP PowerDesigner software.

Access a complimentary copy of the full Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management Solutions” report her....
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