Data Governance

How a Business Glossary Solution Can Enhance Your Data Governance Efforts

Angelika Seböková
December 12, 2021 | 6 min read
One of the most important solutions the Accurity data intelligence platform offers is Data Catalog and Business Glossary. This solution is perfect for any company who wants to improve its data governance and start at the very beginning – by getting all departments on the same page with consistent documented business terminology.

Let’s take a more detailed look into what exactly business glossary means, why is it such an important step towards managing your data efficiently, and what benefits your business will gain from using one.

What is a business glossary and why it improves your data governance efforts?

A business glossary is a list of business terms, their definitions and relations, used across different departments. Business terms are described in a clear language, easily comprehensible for all to use. This company-wide and company-specific list of terms can clear up any ambiguity in your company’s terminology, ensuring that whichever department uses the glossary they will understand the term, and use the information correctly. Companies start to build business glossaries to improve their data governance efforts. Unified language used across the whole business is a key component for creating a good starting point for making the analysis of your data clearer and easier to interpret.

For example, you can define who the “customer” is, what is the “product” or a “service” they buy or use, distinguish between a “partner” and “vendor”, define and describe operations that happen within your business, and stakeholders can be involved as can each segment of your business in general.

When creating the unified business glossary your goal will be to describe each business term and capture its relations in a way to make it specific enough that it avoids potential misinterpretations or misusage. You also should take into account that the definition of a business term can vary according to the industry or vertical of your business. For instance, “Customer” can be both a person and a company. Definition of a “Product”, or a certain process, may vary when perceived by different departments of your team. The business term meanings will depend on the subject area(s) to which they are relevant.

Even though the efforts needed for establishing a consistent company business glossary may seem daunting, it is very much the first step towards leveraging the potential of your data. Without having a business glossary, companies get confused and overwhelmed by the number of conflicting, non-harmonized terms or definitions used.

Typically, there are three main elements that build up a business glossary:

  • Terms – it is important to define terms connected to the use case you want to solve with a business glossary,

  • Definitions – to improve the understanding and align the usage of your business terms,

  • Relations between Business Terms – connect your business terms between each other and build up the descriptions based on other already defined business terms. This allows you to define calculations between business terms easily as well.

Benefits of creating a company business glossary:

  1. Better understanding of your business terms

    Avoid misinterpretations and misusages of your business terms that often lead to chaos by creating a shared place of harmonized business terms definitions that serves as a facilitator of the common understanding, you will know what your data are about.

  2. Improved internal communication

    Unified company-wide and company-specific language can also prevent confusion and errors inflicted by bad communication, eventually leading to the improvement of the company performance.

  3. Better navigation within your data

    Effort invested in creating a unified business glossary will also help you understand the context of your data and how your data metrics are calculated.

To create and describe your business terms and build the relationships between them, you will need a dedicated tool to help you with the process. Our Accurity platform Data Catalog and Business Glossary solution, which is available on-premises or as a SaaS, is built in a way to help beginners start managing their data and later scale up the range of services according to their needs, as well as support more mature companies who, for example, would like to have their data in a single source of the truth. You can get started with our Accurity Data Catalog and Business Glossary SaaS right now, absolutely free.

Angelika Seböková
Marketing Specialist
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Free Business Glossary

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* 500 Business Terms available in the free version