Building vs. Buying Your Data Catalog

by Adam Milward , August 30th, 2023

Building vs. Buying Your Data Catalog: What is the Preferred Option?



Data catalogs have become essential for improving data quality, access, and insights for businesses of all sizes. They provide a comprehensive view of an organisation’s data assets, including the origin, producers, and flow of data throughout the entire company. While data catalogs offer numerous benefits, whether to build a catalog in-house or purchase a proprietary solution arises. In this article, we explore the advantages of buying a data catalog over building one, considering key factors for decision-making.

Build-capable Technical Expertise and Leadership:

Building a data catalog requires specialised skills and knowledge that may exceed the capabilities of in-house IT professionals. Additionally, dedicated leadership is crucial to organise and direct the project effectively. Opting for an established solution from an experienced vendor offers distinct advantages, including technical expertise, professional integration, and proven leadership. With vendor teams composed of subject matter experts, the organisation is guided and supported throughout the project.

Start-Up Cost and Timelines:

Building a data catalog internally entails significant start-up costs, including data engineers, software, and other expenses. The larger the project, the more resources and time it will require. Even with a skilled team, start-up costs can reach six figures, and outside consultants may be necessary, further increasing expenses. In contrast, a purchased data catalog solution offers cost and time savings. With a dedicated team focused solely on catalog implementation, organisations can reduce implementation times significantly and rely on accurate and reliable timelines.

User Experience:

Designing a user interface (UI) for an in-house data catalog can be challenging, especially if the IT team lacks expertise in UI design.

Purchased data catalog solutions provide modern and intuitive interfaces designed by skilled UX teams. These interfaces are tailored to support business intelligence users, maximising the value derived from enterprise information.

Additionally, vendor support and training ensure proper utilisation of the data catalog, empowering teams to leverage its capabilities fully.

Managed Services:

Building a data catalog is the beginning of a company’s journey towards improved data integrity. Ongoing support and maintenance are vital for the catalogue’s long-term health and viability. Partner solutions offer easily accessible teams of specialists who provide support and resources to maintain and scale the program. Subscription fees for such support are more cost-effective compared to a permanent headcount.

The benefits of managed data catalouge



When considering the costs and benefits of building or buying a data catalog, the preferred option becomes clear: buying a custom-designed solution. Partnering with experts in data catalog solutions offers numerous advantages, including professional integration, training, maintenance, and support. Building a data catalog from scratch is a significant challenge, requiring substantial investments in consultants, IT professionals, and resources. Furthermore, in-house solutions may struggle to match modern data catalog products’ dynamic interfaces and advanced features. Investing in a proprietary data catalog supported by a team of industry specialists is a wise choice for companies committed to maximising the value of their business data.

Ready to take the next step in your MetaData Catalog journey? Connect for more information today!

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