Business glossary management is a vital capability for any organization serious about a data-driven strategy.
Data-driven organizations are challenged with making productive use of their vast stores of information across the enterprise. Creating and managing a business glossary with tools like IDERA’s ER/Studio is an effective method of addressing this difficulty and is an essential component of a viable data governance program.
A business glossary can be defined as an artifact that defines terms across a business domain, providing an authoritative source for all business operations, including its databases. A business glossary addresses the complexity of using data consistently throughout the multiple departments that make up an organization. Working with a consistent vocabulary concerning enterprise data assets can provide companies with many advantages in competitive markets.
Business glossary management is an action undertaken by an organization to maintain the integrity of their business glossary.
Building a business glossary is not a one-and-done effort. For a business glossary to be of use, it requires maintenance. Enterprises change over time, so a static collection of business terms, relationships and definitions will not suffice.
A new database may change the way information is processed, and so business terms may require new relationships to be added, or out-dated ones removed.
Business glossary management is also vital for facilitating successful mergers and acquisitions (M&A). M&A will likely introduce new business terms and databases, as well as discrepancies among existing business terms that may have different uses between the merging enterprises.
Effective business glossary management requires the same type of collaborative mindset used in the business glossary’s creation. Changes to a business glossary need to be shared among all stakeholders to avoid discrepancies in how data is used in different departments.
Without the proper level of oversight, a business glossary can quickly lose its value to the organization. An obsolete or unorganized glossary that does not reflect an evolving environment will fail to provide any expected benefits and may lead to substantial communication problems. It is essential to keep everyone in the organization updated on modifications to the glossary.
The expressions business glossary and data dictionary are sometimes erroneously used interchangeably. Both data dictionaries and business glossaries are valuable for constructively handling information resources. They are, however, two distinct entities that serve different data management goals. Following are some of the differences between data dictionaries and business glossaries.
Once it is constructed, a data dictionary is more stable than a business glossary. As a business environment evolves, modifications to its glossary may also need to be made to reflect changes in the way data is referenced throughout the company
Building a business glossary is necessarily a collaborative effort that strives to address several issues revolving around corporate data resources. Following are the main objectives behind the glossary’s creation.
Representatives from all areas of an organization must be thoroughly involved in the creation of a company’s business glossary. Eventually, there will have to be decisions made regarding the terms and definitions included in the glossary. These choices will need to be made after considering the input from the appropriate stakeholders from across the enterprise.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating a business glossary.
ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition is an excellent collaborative solution for business glossary automation and management. The tool offers versatile data modeling capabilities and can be used for activities such as data dictionary standardization and visually documenting data lineage.
It also includes a business glossary that allows different roles to collaborate; the stewards to manage the terms in the glossaries and data architects to map assets in the data dictionary to those business terms.
ER/Studio allows users to automate business glossary management tasks. The time-consuming and monotonous activity of populating the business glossary can be bypassed by allowing users to harvest business terms - along with their ontological relationships - directly from data models. As well as saving time, business glossary automation mitigates the capacity for human error, leading to more accurate glossaries and reducing the risks associated with miscommunicated business terms.
Thanks to a purpose-built integration between ER/Studio and Collibra, users of the platforms can also publish logical and physical data models of data assets - mapped to Business terms - to the Collibra Catalog.
Some of its features that specifically address the creation and management of a business glossary include:
Companies can request a free demo of ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition. The trial lets a company discover the multiple ways the tool can help manage a business glossary so it remains relevant and provides value to the company.
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