Data Lineage

What Does Data Lineage Mean?

Data lineage is generally defined as a kind of data life cycle that includes the data’s origins and where it moves over time. This term can also describe what happens to data as it goes through diverse processes. Data lineage can help with efforts to analyze how information is used and to track key bits of information that serve a particular purpose.


Techopedia Explains Data Lineage

One common application of data lineage methodologies is in the field of business intelligence, which involves gathering data and building conclusions from that data. Data lineage helps to show, for example, how sales information has been collected and what role it could play in new or improved processes that put the data through additional flow charts within a business or organization. All of this is part of a more effective use of the information that businesses or other parties have obtained.

Another use of data lineage, as pointed out by business experts, is in safeguarding data and reducing risk. By collecting large amounts of data, businesses and organizations are exposing themselves to certain legal or business liabilities. These relate to any possible security breach and exposure of sensitive data. Using data lineage techniques can help data managers handle data better and avoid some of the liability associated with not knowing where data is at a given stage in a process.


Related Terms

Latest Business Intelligence (BI) Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…