If you are looking for the easiest way to define, monitor, and maintain your data across your organization, our Business Glossary and Data Catalog solution is a good starting point to begin describing and understanding your data. Since we have launched this solution we keep on improving the software to match our customers’ needs better. Here we present a quick overview of some features that have been added recently.
With this feature you now have the ability to define rules for what data must look like and what criteria it must fulfill, just from a business perspective and in a language which is easy to be understood by the whole company. You can create structured business rules that will simply transform into the technical implementation across all of your IT systems and will bridge relationships between your Business Glossary and Data Catalog solution, or the Data Quality and Data Observability solution, by defining data quality rules, top-down, without the need to know the technical specifics of your data sources.
Being able to bridge these relationships and to capture business rules in a structured way, are huge benefits to any business and there are few tools that can offer this solution.
You can create a data structure with its data fields automatically retrieved from the data sources by connecting your Oracle, MS SQL, Teradata, PostgreSQL, or spreadsheets straight to business glossary. This feature allows you to retrieve the data catalog directly from the connected system and map the data catalog parts against your specified business glossary.
Getting to know your data becomes easier. You can capture your data catalog based on real metadata inside the connected system and attain vertical data lineage.
Our customers come from various industries and have diverse needs based on their business processes. We have to address these expectations as well as different approaches to how to deal with data across the Accurity data intelligence platform. Custom properties were designed for a single purpose – to give users options to customize the application and make it more flexible to meet all their needs. No matter what industry your business is in, or what type of company or organization you are, custom properties allow you to define your customized fields yourself for whatever object type, and start capturing additional information in seconds.
You can choose from text, hyperlink, or enumeration fields and start describing your object types immediately. The ability to set them as number, date, or reference type field is also planned for a future update.
As an example, if you are missing a business owner on the business terms, you can create a custom property named Business Owner, apply it to business terms and then choose the enumeration type and define its options. All done in a few clicks. Thanks to the custom properties feature, business glossary will match your use case as closely as possible.
Business glossary has already been designed in a way to allow the user to search for objects even with advanced techniques. However, the default search option only allows you to search for objects within the respective lists of the object types. This means, you must know in which list the object you search for is likely to appear. For those users who have begun working with business glossary and are only just starting to describe their data, it can be difficult to find where to search for a particular term. Therefore, we have implemented global search, which allows all users to find any term across all object types in the data catalog and business glossary. This new, simplified approach ensures you will find what you are looking for as fast as possible.
All sizes of business and all users with any level of experience can now capture information objects of an organization in a more structured way. The resulting business data model (BDM) holistically describes requirements and data in a company’s specific language, by using an entity relationship modelling (ERM) based approach.
BDM enhances the classical ERM with data governance features like advanced inheritance, composite attributes, reusable attribute definitions to enhance usability, and automate and simplify part of the modelling process.
Requirements, the new BDM feature, can also be used as a basis for defining the technical model (data catalog), data quality checks, and technical specifications. It directly supports data governance with the creation and maintenance of data requirements which can serve as an anchor point in your data architecture, enabling traceability and business lineage.
These two features are included in the Professional plan or higher of the Business Glossary and Data Catalog solution or the Business Data Model and Data Catalog solution.
When working with a business glossary, the first step is to create and describe your business terms. Once you have the business terms defined and your data catalog starts to grow, you will still need to understand the relations between them. To make it easier for you, business term diagram keeps track of these relations, which are the basis for the vertical data lineage, and enables you to get a graphical representation of them easily, without having to go through all children counts and collections. Save yourself some time and get nice and clear visualizations of modelled relations between the business terms and data catalog.
With this feature you can now easily define relation types between business terms using one of six relation types. You can choose from: child/parent of, related to, replaces, calculated from, synonym of, or contains. Using this feature enables you to improve the way you describe how your business terms are related to each other.
This feature makes it easy to specify reference values for your business terms, including their value descriptions. These defined reference values can also be searched via the global search feature (see above).
The primary ability to specify you domain/reference values for your defined business glossary terms is not unique, but it is particularly important. For instance, one clear use case would be to have a business term of “currency” and then set related reference values of the currency codes which are being used inside your company, to that business term.
Access your business terms from within any web application/page with direct links to your business glossary to see the detailed information. Are you working with multiple web applications and sites where terminology related to your business is used? Do you need to cross-check company approved definitions of terms used in those web applications? Do you want to know what the metrics used on your report mean in a fast way? With the Chrome Browser Dictionary – a simple extension (plugin) downloadable from the Google Chrome Web Store - you can scan any web application/page and instantly see the approved definition as stored in your business glossary.
How it works: download and install the extension to your browser, scan the page and see each word that is named the same way as the business terms defined in your business glossary. Results will be highlighted and if you hover over them, you will also get a tooltip – a description of the term retrieved from the business glossary. You can click the tooltip, which will open a new browser tab with the detail from your business glossary of the business term that was highlighted on the website.
The business glossary is based on many definitions, which are usually handled by multiple participants. Moreover, these definitions tend to evolve over time. Version history is an extremely useful feature for those users who want to have an overview about all changes made within the object definitions, including information by whom and when the change was done.
With version history you can not only browse through the history of object definitions and access every detail of each change made, but you can also compare versions to each other. When you want to see how an object was described at some point in its history, you just need to click the “Compare Versions” button and choose which versions you want to compare (not just the two most recent). The application will then show you which specific details have been changed, removed, or added.
Commenting is another feature improving the collaboration of multiple participants in business glossary. To enable users to collaborate on an object’s definition, and keep the users informed about the changes, Commenting allows you to leave a comment on each object. Objects have an optional commenting drawer that can be opened to see all comments attached to that object. Comments can be added, updated, or removed, while every action is being tracked. Users can always see when, and by whom, the specific change was made.
In case you want to be updated about every change made within the application, you can also turn on e-mail notifications and get notified each time a change is made.
Would you like to better understand how business glossary works before adding or importing your own data? With the sample data feature, you can try Accurity SaaS out while working with a set of sample data and explore all the features in the application before you use your own data. When you click the "Use Sample Data" button, sample data will be automatically added into your business glossary, and you can start exploring the product.
You can easily clear all the current data in the application, at any time, with just one password protected click. From there you can either add the basic sample data or start to use your own data.
Over time we have introduced many user experience (UX) improvements including the ability to specify passwords before the first login, the ability to start the instance with Sample Data installed, the capability to invite users to the application, the option to reset your password, and the option to remember your login credentials.
There are many more features planned for our solutions including the Business Glossary and Data Catalog – see the planned new features on our dedicated roadmap page, or simply sign up to use Accurity SaaS for free and start evaluating the features and the value they can bring to you right now. After signing up, new feature announcements will be automatically emailed to you. You can also follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and get fresh updates each time a new feature is introduced. Do you have any ideas for what else you would like to see in any of our solutions or do you have any feedback on the current features? Feel free to reach out to us – we are always happy to discuss all ideas.