What is Metadata?

"Metadata is data that describes other data. Metadata summarizes basic information about data, which can make finding and working with particular instances of data easier. For example, author, date created and date modified and file size are very basic document metadata. In addition to document files, metadata is used for images, videos, spreadsheets and web pages." Source: TechTarget

The effective management of metadata is an essential part of solid and flexible big data "ecosystems" in that it helps companies more efficiently manage their data assets and make them available to data scientists and other analysts.