A couple of weeks ago I had an honor to host a webinar with George Firican, a data governance & BI director at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, public speaker and founder of Lights on Data - educational blog and consulting services on data management and BI.
The webinar was titled Business Glossaries - The What, the Why, and the How and it is a good introduction into the concept of business glossaries - what they are, why each organization needs to have one, and what are the steps to implement it.
You can watch the recording from this webinar in a video attached below and read a top level summary in article below or in George's PowerPoint presentation for this webinar.
Watch webinar recording:
Watch the presentation:
So what are those business glossaries people are talking about?
Business Glossary - The What
Business Glossary definition
A collection of business terms with their unique definitions and other useful related information
Here are the terms you might have encountered, that are somewhat similar to the business glossary.
- Business Dictionary
- Business Vocabulary
- Data Catalog
- Data Dictionary
- Business Lexicon
- Business Data Dictionary
- Business Semantics
- Business Metadata
- Metadata Repository
- Business Catalog
- Business Compendium
Business Glossary vs Business Dictionary
- In Business Glossary the terms are unique and term has only one definition
- In Business Dictionary the same term (e.g. Customer) can have multiple definitions
Business Glossary - The Why
If you want the detailed explanation of the benefits of the business glossary, please read George's article titled "What is the Business Value of a Business Glossary?".
Short list is the following - Business Glossary:
- Facilitates understanding
- Improves communication across organization
- Enhances training
- Established ownership of the terms
- Increases trust in data
- Improves productivity of analytics and decision making
Business Glossary - The How
OK, so now that you know why you should get a Business Glossary right away, here is a plan to follow to implement a glossary.
1. Get buy-in
- Make a business case - focus on benefits or key pain points
- Get a sponsor - make sure he's high up in a hierarchy
- Get a budget - ideally as a part of existing project
2. Adopt best practices
- Attributes of business glossary - term name & definition, other attributes
- Establish and follow naming and definition guidelines
- Define process / workflow
3. Choose and gather content
Choose scope of glossary (topic & terms) and gather existing information.
4. Get a tool
- Build in-house or
- get a specialized tool (e.g. Collibra, Dataedo)
I hope the webinar got you enough information to give you fuel to start implementation a business glossary in your organization.
If you want more content, here's more for you:
If you'd like to create your own business terms, organize them into a hierarchy, map to data assets and share with your team then: