Getting started with the Data Cookbook is easy. Keeping it moving and getting adoption across the campus takes some planning. We have found that a successful implementation of the Data Cookbook requires focusing on the following:

Initial Content

A knowledge base that doesn't contain knowledge doesn't help anyone, so plan to have some core content in the Data Cookbook before you open it up to your whole organization.

Clients often start by defining key performance indicators and other important metrics, as well as by recording widely-used reports and dashboards as Cookbook specifications. Wanting to start from a more technical perspective? Build out your institutions' data system inventory, and attach the technical metatdata from critical data models.

Migrating data to a new system? Rolling out a new BI tool? Need to track lineage as data moves from one application to another? Any of these would also be a great place to start.

Remember, you want people to help you keep the ball rolling - give them something they can help to push along!


The Data Cookbook works best when it's integrated into your data environment. When people view reports and dashboards, they will understand them better when they can easily connect to and see definitions and other related information in the Data Cookbook. When people search or browse the Data Cookbook, make it an easy jumping-off point to access data sets and report libraries!

This integration can be accomplished many ways, including by using the Data Cookbook APIs. These are flexible components you can use to connect your reporting tools directly to the specifications in the Data Cookbook. You can even embed the Data Cookbook information in some reporting tools.


The first people involved in the Data Cookbook ought to be your primary content creators, your subject matter experts, your data stewards, perhaps technical resources such as business analysts and database architects. They need to understand the importance of data governance, of documenting and explaining data to consumers and other stakeholders.

Many more people may be expected along the way to enter, update, comment on, and even approve content into the Data Cookbook. They will need to understand their roles, and they will need to be supported with training, documentation, and perhaps other resources, in performing those roles. So your initial team will also probably be charged with developing these training and support materials.

Whatever you do, use the Data Cookbook to answer questions, to provide a forum for communication and collaboration, and to solve real problems.