A business glossary differs from a data dictionary in that its focal point, Data Governance, goes beyond a data warehouse or database. A business glossary is a means of sharing internal vocabulary within an organization. Most business glossaries share certain characteristics such as standard data definitions and documentation of them; clear definitions with an explanation of exceptions, synonyms, or variants, as well as:
- Representatives from core user groups required to give approval on terms.
- Draft definitions and type breakouts from subject area models able to be supplied.
Other Definitions of a Business Glossary Include:
- A framework to create, nurture, and promote a common vocabulary for an organization. (IBM)
- A resource that defines terms across a business domain, providing an authoritative source for all business operations, including its Database Systems. (Michelle Knight)
- “Authoritative definitions for institutional data related to clinical, administrative, research, and instructional activities.” (University of Rochester)
- An application and “go-to system to govern … business terms.” (Collibra)
- A compendium of business terms and definitions that have been approved by stakeholders and are maintained and governed. (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology)
- A semantic foundation for Logical Data Warehouses and Business Analytics. (Gartner)
Businesses Use Business Glossaries to:
- Enable understanding of the core business concepts and terminology.
- Highlight how vocabulary may differ across business functions.
- Increase trust in a company’s data.
- Ensure agreement between the business-facing content and technical-facing physical data.
- Reduce the risk that data will be misused due to inconsistent understanding of the business concepts.
- Improve alignment between technological assets and the business organization.
- Maximize search capability and enable access to documented institutional knowledge.
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