Because their business is growing, My Muscle Chef (MYMC) is concerned that with the pace they are growing it will become easy to lose track of where they store what data, and harder to get on the same page about descriptions of data with everyone within the business. They would like to describe their data including the business data lineage to the data catalog so that they can get a better overview of what they work with and have in their data infrastructure.
A cornerstone of any data governance strategy is a business glossary, and this enables you to consolidate your company-wide terminology across departments and get everyone on the same page. Defining “business terms” and “requirements” is a key part of this strategy. When we were initially demoing the Accurity platform to MYMC, we realized that this methodology and the Accurity Business Glossary and Data Catalog solution would enable them to work towards meeting their challenge.
We worked with My Muscle Chef so that they started to document everything as much as possible which meant that they could then utilize requirements to describe their business requirements to dashboards i.e., reports, with what each dashboard should fulfill and display.
Once they had the requirements for their dashboards well documented they could then track which metrics/business terms should be included in those dashboards. The image below depicts a representation of what a “Customer” dashboard might be described as and what metrics it should contain.
Based on the requirements, they could then define, within the business glossary, the crucial business terms, those which are required, and from there they could define other business terms which are important for their calculations.
These can then be visually represented in knowledge graphs offering better visibility of the relationships between business terms, such as “Customer Profitability” – a representation of such a knowledge graph can be seen in the image below which shows the business term, its calculation, and its relationships.
A big bonus at this stage is that My Muscle Chef could use Accurity’s free Browser Dictionary add-on extension for Chrome/Edge web browsers to facilitate getting everyone within the business on the same page about the descriptions of their data. This add-on extension can scan any web application/page for business terms and allows the user to instantly see the approved definition as stored in the business glossary.
The Accurity Business Glossary and Data Catalog solution could then be used to retrieve the data catalog. Using our data catalog connectors, you can get metadata from your data sources which saves you time by creating a metadata blueprint of your data IT landscape for you.
However, in My Muscle Chef’s case, they were using data sources that we did not have standard connectors for. But this was no problem for Accurity as we are flexible enough to create new on-demand connectors for our clients and we can do this quickly. Within 24 hours we enabled connectors to Google BigQuery and Mongo DB for My Muscle Chef and then a little later we were also able to add data profiling for these new data sources too (even for document-based data sources such as Mongo DB).
The next step in this methodology is business data lineage. Once My Muscle Chef has defined the major business terms needed for a particular dashboard that is described in the requirement, they can start to map business terms to data catalog parts. This enables them to achieve better descriptions of their data and also, importantly, to know what data they use for calculations on the dashboards.
If you would like more background on and detailed information about data lineage, we have a free A Fundamental Guide to Data Lineage e-book.
Finally, from the methodology point of view, a dashboard/report can be recognized as a special type of data structure in the data catalog, as it is relevant to tables/views in the data catalog. Therefore, you can start to see the whole path of your dashboard life cycle:
Starting from the requirements…
through business terms and their knowledge graphs…
to the data catalog…
through data lineage diagrams and then…
being able to recognize dashboards as a special type of data structure, where these business terms have been realistically implemented. The image below gives a visual representation of such a data structure recognized as a dashboard (Customer Report), its business term relationships, and the real data sources used for the dashboard metrics calculations (not actual MYMC data).
Although we are only at the beginning of the whole initiative, the Accurity team with their data intelligence platform is already delivering many benefits to My Muscle Chef:
It helps My Muscle Chef think in a structured way about the whole data management problematics.
Accurity is guiding My Muscle Chef through the methodology and sharing the knowledge with them not only on how to use the application but also how to set up the whole methodology.
Using Accurity with this methodology forces My Muscle Chef to follow it and have proper governance over new dashboard creation.
My Muscle Chef knows who is responsible for what and they have a great starting point for starting to describe previously created dashboards.
Accurity’s free Browser Dictionary add-on extension for Chrome/Edge web browsers facilitates getting everyone within the My Muscle Chef business on the same page about the descriptions of their data.
This is just the start of My Muscle Chef’s journey with Accurity. Stay tuned for a full case study in due course.
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