In an attempt to create a central point of reference for enterprise data, Microsoft is introducing Azure Data Catalog. Still in preview, it’s a cloud tool for registering and finding data repositories registered by companies.
When a data set is registered, the company can assign it metadata and descriptors. As users discover the data, they can add their own tags or descriptions to help future users find it.
If a data set becomes particularly useful, users can connect it directly to data visualization tools.
The data is all crowdsourced; Azure isn’t pulling anything in automatically. As Microsoft puts it, “any user, for instance an analyst, data scientist or data developer, can register, enrich, discover, understand and consume data sources. Every user is empowered to register the data sources that they use.”
Microsoft is making the Azure Data Catalog available on Monday, so you’ve got the weekend to geek out about data.