Difference between Asset Model, Metamodel and Operating Model


The Data Governance Operating Model establishes the foundation for all data stewardship and data management activities in the company. It’s more than just a list of assets with their relations and characteristics. Operating Model explains how data is governed in the organization, how users can search, propose, create, review, archive assets, how users can raise the issues related to the data and how they can solve them, etc.  The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate how you can quickly explain the difference between DGC Operating Model concepts to your customer.

Asset Model

Definition: The Asset Model defines the information that will be governed (asset types) as well as the characteristics (attribute and relation types) this information may/should have. This is referred to as the Structural Concepts of the operating model.


  • Asset types are defined
  • Attributes are defined for each asset types
  • Parent/Child hierarchy of asset types are defined
  • Relation types between asset types are defined

Note: for more information about Asset Model configuration best practices please refer to this article

Possible graphical presentation


Definition: Metamodel shows how information is grouped and structured who is taking responsibility for it. The metamodel combines the structural concepts with the organizational concepts of the operating model.


  • Asset Model is defined
  • Ownership model is defined (see “Community Structure Design” on docs)
  • Scopes are defined (if necessary)
  • Community structure is designed
  • Domain types are identified
  • Communities and Domains are created
  • Asset types are assigned to the particular domain types
  • Asset type’s characteristics configured according to the Asset Model
  • User groups are defined and created
  • Global roles are defined and configured

Possible graphical presentation (Without characteristics)

Possible graphical presentation (Without roles)

Operating Model

Definition: The Operating Model is an abstract and possibly visual representation of how Data Governance is implemented for an Enterprise. The operating model brings together the structural and organizational concepts described n the metamodel withthe execution and monitoring concepts resulting in the operating model.

Operation Model – Metamodel + roles, user groups, applied workflows/email templates, statuses, articulation score, issue categories, source/target integration things, dashboards, views, search filters, taceabilities


  • Metamodel is defined
  • Asset Lifecycle is defined for every asset type
  • Articulation Scores Indicators are defined
  • Statuses are defined, configured and implemented in workflows
  • Validation rules are designed and applied to particular assets types
  • Data Governance processes are described
  • Workflows are designed and applied to the asset types/domains/communities or global
  • DG Roles are defined (within workflows and outside of them)
  • Issue categories are defined
  • Issue Management Process is designed and configured
  • Views, search filters, dashboards, and traceability are configured

Operating Model Presentation

DG Operating Model of the organization is too complex to show it in one diagram. That’s why at the end of the DGC implementation we explain how the operating model works with the number of different documents:

  • Asset model (see above)
  • Metamodel (see above)

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