Organizations that enjoy the benefits of business glossary management can reduce risk and provide a competitive advantage over rivals.
A business glossary is an artifact that defines terms so they can be used consistently across a business domain.
Data-driven companies can enjoy significant benefits by developing and using a business glossary to ensure consistent use of their data resources.
Without definitions, words and phrases are ambiguous. Business glossaries focus on providing approved and accepted standards for business concepts. An organization will have a single business glossary, as opposed to multiple siloed understandings. The goals of a business glossary include:
- Creating a common data vocabulary that will be used throughout the organization.
- Promoting the collaboration between IT and business data management teams.
- Agreeing with the calculations used in KPIs and calculated data
- Identifying and understanding the connections between business terms and enterprise data assets.
- Developing the rules, policies, and classifications of information elements that will form the foundation of enterprise data governance.
The 5 Biggest Business Glossary Benefits
Organizations that develop a viable business glossary according to business glossary best practices have a valuable resource capable of providing substantial and lasting benefits. The advantages of having a business glossary far outweigh any complications or resistance encountered during its creation.
Here are the five most important benefits of business glossary management, enjoyed by companies with a carefully constructed business glossary:
1. Enhanced communication throughout the organization
Perhaps the most valuable benefit of a business glossary is how it improves communication between different parts of a company. Keeping consistent data definitions in a centralized repository accessible by everyone eliminates potentially impactful misunderstandings.
Imagine having a conversation where your definition of words and phrases differs from the other party, would you feel comfortable that you could reach a common understanding?
Confusion over simple terms often results in errors, wasted time, and decreased productivity. Sharing a business glossary eliminates the problems associated with misunderstanding. Using accepted KPIs and calculations means that decisions can be made at lower risk.
2. Improved understanding between departments
Not all data is equal – and we now live in a world where the value of companies is based on their data. As such, data regulations can have a profound impact on an organization’s reputation – and value – if data is exposed.
It’s important to know what rules and policies apply to pieces of data. Within a Business Glossary, we can classify elements in terms of sensitivity and value and whether it’s personal. Sharing a business glossary eliminates the problems associated with data silos that can spring up across an enterprise.
We can apply rules and policies to individual terms and ensure the organization is aware of its responsibility to that data.
As well as this foundational task, business glossary management benefits organizations from a value-adding perspective. Eliminating confusion over simple terms results in increased productivity and efficiency.
3. Ownership over business terms
The acts of creating, updating, and managing a business glossary require its content to be verified and approved by data owners and stewards. The approval process identifies ownership over data elements and establishes a contact who can ensure the accuracy of the terms used in the glossary.
This provides a trusted source on a given term that can eliminate any potential confusion over its meaning. By appointing stewards organizations can ensure that the quality of critical data and the rules and policies are maintained to help control risk.
4. Elevated trust in data resources
When everyone is working from the same business glossary, companies enjoy an elevated trust in data resources and how they are used. End users can trust that any requests made to developers are fully understood and will produce the desired results.
5. Increased efficiency
Connecting the approved business glossary to a data dictionary of physical data assets provides an overall catalog of data to ask and answer those important questions such as, what data do we have, where is it? Having this knowledge makes change easier and less risky. Finding data to analyze is easier and more rapid.
Collaborative Business Glossary Management
Effective business glossary management is necessary to make the most productive use of a business glossary. Business glossary management requires a collaborative effort and the right tools.
IDERA's ER/Studio Team Edition allows users to collaborate on the building and managing a business glossaries. Users can leverage the purpose-built integration between ER/Studio and Collibra, to enable business glossary automation. This includes the harvesting of information from existing data models to populate the business glossary, ensuring glossaries are accurate and comprehensive.
The collaborative features that ER/Studio offers make it an excellent choice for creating a business glossary. The tool’s facility for developing an enterprise glossary allows teams to view, classify and store business definitions and terms so they always know the extent of data resources and where they are located.
Teams can create a single searchable registry of all available data sources that can be filtered for data objects, sources, and terms.
While business glossary management itself requires a collaborative effort, it’s also necessary to improve and maintain data democratization.
This makes it easier to implement collaborative data governance throughout the enterprise. ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition provides the right tool to develop an organization’s business glossary and improve its data governance standing. It helps companies take advantage of the benefits that come with having a comprehensive business glossary.