Using appropriate metadata is a central success factor for (re)engineering and using data warehouse systems effectively and efficiently. The approach presented in this paper aims to reduce the effort in developing and operating data warehouse systems and thus to increase the ability and acceptance of a data warehouse. To achieve these objectives identifying the appropriate metadata is an important task. To avoid processing the “wrong” object data and thus compromising the acceptance of a data warehouse system, a systematic approach to categorize and to identify the appropriate metadata is essential. This paper presents such a generic approach. After investing and structuring problem situations, that can occur in data warehousing, metadata categories are identified to solve a given problem situation. A use case illustrates the approach.