With the help of automation, a certain amount of information is collected and this often provides detailed technical documentation of what is in the information system. Standard data catalog solutions then enable knowledgeable data users to complete this documentation, by adding classification attributes to describe in more detail the company’s technical ecosystem.
While this information is useful for more technically oriented users (engineers, architects, etc.), it often remains unclear to the growing number of enterprise data consumers. This will prevent these from exploiting and governing the data effectively.
In order to provide the necessary context for the use of this data, users need different types of information: organizational, statistical, compliance, etc.
To be clear, the technical documentation must be accompanied with semantic information. This is the purpose of the implementation of a business glossary.
Building a common language with a business glossary
When business users talk about data, they usually refer to concepts such as customer address, sales, or the turnover of 2021. It’s unlikely they are referring to a table or a database schema, which they may not know or understand. A business glossary helps define these concepts and share these definitions amongst all employees.
The addition of semantic metadata thus meets several objectives:
- To bridge the gap between business and technical users, by building a common language that allows them to collaborate effectively;
- Align business users, especially those from different entities, with these definitions. This will prevent ambiguities between related terms;
- Enable all users to find the data they are looking for with greater ease, and provide the necessary context to understand and use it.
A good data catalog tool must therefore provide a solution that administers these business concepts, allows them to be linked to the technical assets that implement these concepts, and thus enable the use of the catalog enterprise-wide.
Want to learn more about Business Glossaries?
If you would like to dive deeper into how a Business Glossary is an essential component of a data catalog, download our free eBook : “Business Glossary: An essential component of a Data Catalog for data fluent organizations”.
In this eBook, you will find:
- a complete description of the existing approaches on hand depending on the company objective when it comes to describing a domain of knowledge: lexicon, thesaurus, formal ontology;
- a presentation of Zeenea’s graph-based business glossary approach, which offers the flexibility, simplicity and scalability necessary to cover the needs of data consumers.