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2 May 2023

How To Do Data Lineage: A Step-By-Step Guide

Data Lineage: A Step-By-Step Guide

Have you ever asked yourself, “Where did all this come from?” after dealing with copious amounts of data? You’ve discovered the importance of data lineage. In this article, we explore the importance of data lineage, how to perform it manually, and the best strategies to secure management approval for its implementation in your company.

What is Data Lineage?

Data lineage refers to the process of tracing the origin, movement, and transformation of data through various stages within an organization. It helps businesses understand the flow of data, enhance data quality, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Some benefits of data lineage include root cause analysis, impact analysis, regulatory compliance, explainability, and business insights.

Manual Data Lineage: A Step-by-Step Guide

Although automated tools are often more efficient, understanding manual data lineage can help you appreciate the benefits of a data lineage solution. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Identify data elements: Determine critical business function points by contacting relevant business units.
  • Track origins: Trace chosen elements back to their origin one by one.
  • Identify links and sources: Create a spreadsheet to label link elements and sources that can be combined.
  • Create a map: Build a map for each system and a master map of the whole picture.

Implementing Automated Data Lineage Solutions

Consider introducing automated data lineage tools to your workplace to significantly save time and resources. Follow these steps:

  • Set up your priorities: Determine how you plan to use or currently use data lineage. This will help you pinpoint data inconsistencies, provide a single source of truth, and eliminate dirty data.
  • Get management buy-in: Present a well-researched proposal to management, explaining the benefits of data lineage, its role in the company, and how it can save time and money.
  • Choose the best data lineage solution: Consider your company’s specific needs and priorities when selecting a data lineage tool. Evaluate each tool based on its capabilities, compatibility with your BI environment, and user-friendliness.


Mastering data lineage is crucial for businesses that want to optimize their data management processes, ensure compliance, and make informed decisions. By understanding manual data lineage, securing management buy-in, and choosing the right automated solution, companies can streamline their data flow, enhance data quality, and ultimately drive better business outcomes. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and in today’s data-driven world, data lineage is the key to unlocking that power.

Ready to explore a powerful data lineage solution? DataGalaxy’s Data Catalog offers an advanced, user-friendly platform for managing your organization’s data. To see how it can transform your data management processes, request a demo today and discover the benefits of DataGalaxy’s cutting-edge technology.

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