Introducing Metaphor: The Modern Metadata Platform

Today we are super excited to announce the launch of the Metaphor Platform—a modern metadata platform that serves as a system of

Co-Founder & CEO
 min. read
January 18, 2022
Introducing Metaphor: The Modern Metadata Platform

Today we are super excited to announce the launch of the Metaphor Platform—a modern metadata platform that serves as a system of record for your organization's data ecosystem. Metaphor provides full visibility into your data landscape and empowers both data producers and consumers to work more effectively and efficiently.

For data engineers, Metaphor enables quick and accurate impact analysis as well as offers critical insights like data consumption patterns and resource utilization. For data analysts/scientists and business stakeholders, it brings technical metadata and business context together to inform decisions about how and when to use data products. To facilitate adoption, Metaphor seamlessly embeds these interactions directly in people's existing tools and workflows, such as Slack, Looker, and Notebooks, in addition to an easy-to-use web application.

Metaphor exposes social context around how users engage with your data.

Who We Are

We're the founding team that created DataHub at LinkedIn—the leading open-source metadata platform project. DataHub powered many metadata-related use cases at LinkedIn, including data discovery, GDPR/CCPA compliance, data integration, governance, and ML DevOps. After experiencing how DataHub supercharged the data democratization at LinkedIn, we wanted every company to realize the full potential of data through effective metadata management and founded Metaphor Data in November 2020—backed by top-tier VC firms a16z and Amplify Partners, along with numerous data science and data engineering luminaries.

Metaphor has its root in DataHub, the same architecture that has been battle-tested for the complexity and scale of industry leaders, such as LinkedIn, Expedia, Klarna, Peloton, DFDS, Saxo Bank, and Grofers. However, Metaphor is not a managed version of DataHub, it's the next-generation cloud-native metadata platform that truly solves your data discovery and literacy needs. The platform also future-proofs against the many organizational data challenges your company will face as it grows.

Why Metaphor?

The Modern Data Stack has helped democratize the creation, processing, and analysis of data across organizations. However, it has also led to a new set of challenges as the data stack becomes more decentralized. Something as basic as finding the right data has also become increasingly more difficult—many data scientists & analysts spend as much as 30% of their time searching for a needle in the proverbial data haystack (worse yet, data swamp).

Most data catalogs fail to solve the data discovery and understandability problems by relying only on technical metadata. Metaphor took a different approach by combining three types of metadata:

  • Technical metadata ("What is it?"): All metadata sourced from the data systems, including schemas, lineage, SQL/code, description, data profile, data quality, etc.
  • Business metadata ("What do users call it?"): The mapping between physical data and business use cases governed at the company, organization, or team level.
  • Behavioral metadata ("Who, where and how is it being used?"):  Linking data assets to the users who create, use, and depend on them, as well as the actual usage behavior.

With this, Metaphor bridges the gap between the technical and business worlds and helps organizations to realize true data democratization on the Modern Data Stack. We also provide a great modern data experience to all stakeholders over fragmentations in the data ecosystem.

Metaphor solves the search & discovery problem by combining technical, business, and behavioral metadata.

How Does Metaphor Work?

Metaphor is a fully managed, secure, and enterprise-ready platform that surfaces rich insights into your data ecosystem to where and when you need them. We support Snowflake, BigQuery, Redshift, PostgreSQL, Looker, dbt, and many other integrations out of the box to surface important metadata such as

  • Schema definition
  • Ownership
  • End-to-end lineage
  • Data model definition
  • Data quality
  • Data profile
  • Usage pattern
  • BI dashboard
  • Job orchestration
  • ...and more
Metaphor provides end-to-end lineage across data warehouse, dbt, and BI.

Additionally, Metaphor taps into conversations that happen on communication platforms like Slack to extract valuable context on how data is used across the organization. Metaphor also offers all the rich metadata right inside the user's workflows to minimize context switching. For example, Metaphor's Slack app enables users to perform all major interactions directly inside Slack, including searching and sharing data assets, capturing useful context from conversations, and responding to questions asked by others.

Metaphor is well integrated with your daily workflow to surface and capture data context.

About Metaphor

The Metaphor Metadata Platform represents the next evolution of the Data Catalog - it combines best in class Technical Metadata (learnt from building DataHub at LinkedIn) with Behavioral and Social Metadata. It supercharges an organization’s ability to democratize data with state of the art capabilities for Data Governance, Data Literacy and Data Enablement, and provides an extremely intuitive user interface that turns even the most non-technical user into a fan of the catalog. See Metaphor in action today!