Introducing a metadata system is a complex endeavor that requires planning comparable to any other large organizational initiative (see exhibit 4.1). The concepts outlined in this chapter focus on the steps that are particularly critical for, or unique to, planning and implementing a metadata system in an education setting.
Metadata systems are built around existing data systems and, ideally, the organization's vision for future data use and management. As such, their development should be driven by the information and business needs of the organization. In other words, what do data users need to know to effectively manage and maximize the quality and utility of their work? A thorough planning process that incorporates data, technical, administrative, and management perspectives improves the likelihood that the system will meet user needs and organizational goals.