Business Glossary – A use case

As I promised some time back, here is a blog that will explain the business value of Business Glossary through a simple use case.

Business analysts and subject matter experts can use InfoSphere™ Business Glossary to create and manage a controlled vocabulary and classification system. Such a system enables them to build a common language between business and information technology.

InfoSphere Business Glossary provides a web interface where you can manage the important business aspects of your assets from any computer. With the business glossary, you can create categories and terms, define custom attributes and values, search the glossary, and assign a steward to assets.

The IBM® InfoSphere Information Server metadata repository stores metadata about tools, processes, and data sources. Individual instances of metadata are called “information assets”, or just “assets”. Examples of assets are implemented data resources such as tables and columns, ETL jobs, profiling processes, routines, and functions. “External assets” are assets that are not stored in the metadata repository. External assets can include such items as business process models, Web services, or reports that are in an external asset management system.

The business glossary organizes your metadata into categories that contain terms. Terms can relate to the assets that are stored in the metadata repository or to external assets according to the standards and practices of your enterprise. You can also designate specific users or user groups as stewards who are responsible for particular assets.

For example, you need to work with business analysts to provide information about the purchase patterns of customers in Europe. You use the business glossary to look up the category named European Sales that contains a term named Customers. That term is related to assets such as multiple database tables that are associated with the customers of the European sales operation. Then, business analysts and subject matter experts can:

  • browse the European Sales category
  • view its contained terms
  • browse the Customers term to see which database tables or other assets are related
  • see the steward who is responsible for that information

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