Chapter 3. Using Metadata
This chapter presents examples of metadata items commonly used by education
organizations to improve data quality; technical operations; and data management,
reporting, and use.
A metadata system should help the organization in some tangible manner.
Having metadata for its own sake (and not using it) is a poor use of resources.
Therefore, an organization should identify its goals for metadata use. For
example, metadata can be used to improve
- technical systems—e.g, quantifying the processing capacity of a search tool;
- data quality—e.g., ensuring a data element is defined the same way throughout
the organization; and
- data reporting and use—e.g., verifying that all data values are within acceptable
Most organizations find many uses for metadata, especially in terms of improving
the quality and use of their data (see exhibit 3.1
). While this publication cannot
list each and every possible application of metadata in an education setting, some
common examples are listed in exhibit 3.2