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Chief Data Officer
Ken Pfeil

Enterprise Data Catalog

Enterprise Data Catalog

Do you want to know what data is available from other state agencies but don’t know where to look?   

ODGA maintains an Enterprise Data Catalog hosted securely in Azure Data Catalog with metadata for all the data sets provided through the Commonwealth Data Trust. Data must first be discoverable in a secure and appropriate way before it can be leveraged for actionable intelligence. 


Q:  What is an Enterprise Data Catalog?

A: The Enterprise Data Catalog is an inventory of the Commonwealth’s data assets. This repository of data combined with metadata is a powerful tool for self-service business intelligence, empowering Commonwealth agencies to make more informed decisions.  

Q: Who has access to the Metadata Dictionary? 

A: All Commonwealth of Virginia Employees can have access to the Commonwealth Metadata Dictionary. Please contact ODGA for more. 

Q: What is Metadata? 

A: Metadata is essentially “data about data” or what is needed to enable the discovery and use of data by a defined set of users. This includes names of data tables, data elements within the tables and views, descriptions of the tables and data elements, valid values and how it is related to other data that individuals might want to use.  

Q:  Why do we need Metadata? 

A: The metadata provides valuable context about data assets that enable individuals to share data in useful ways. Well-defined metadata can enable the transformation of data into intelligence and actionable insight. Some metadata contains information relevant to the retention and archiving requirements for data and allows organizations to track data assets for compliance purposes. Finally, when fully documented, metadata contains provenance and sourcing information that enables data analysts and data scientists to accurately cite data for research purposes. Metadata standards are important to help ensure interoperability between systems and enhance the discovery of, and access to, data.

Q: What about PII, PHI, or other confidential data? 

A: Metadata may show you that a dataset contains sensitive data like PII (Personally identifiable information) or PHI (Protected health information); however, the PII data is secured, and access is tightly restricted. Data Owners determine the data classification tier and ODGA ensures the data is protected accordingly. 

For questions contact the Virginia Office of Data Governance and Analytics Director of Data Protection and Governance