InfoSphere DataStage – XVI (Business Glossary)

Let’s now talk about why would an enterprise need a Business Glossary?

I have spoken about it in my previous blog that Business glossary is a repository used to communicate and govern the enterprise’s business terms along with the associated definitions and the relationships between those terms.
In summary:
  • Business Glossary brings understanding, consistency, and trust in information to any application or context.
  • This authoritative source of information promotes better communication among business and technical teams and aligns cross-team efforts.
  • The line of business uses this centralized information source as a gateway to all information assets to support data governance initiatives.
  • It can associate key business concepts to a vast array of heterogeneous source systems, ETL processes, BI reports, data models, and business rules, and more, automatically.

Now to IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary. IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary is an interactive, web-based tool that enables users to create, manage, and share controlled vocabulary and information governance controls in a repository called a business glossary. The vocabulary and governance controls define business semantics and enable business leaders and IT professionals to manage enterprise-wide information according to defined regulatory or operational business requirements. IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary Anywhere, its companion module, augments InfoSphere Business Glossary with more ease-of-use and extensibility features.

Business Glossary, Business Glossary browser, and Business Glossary Anywhere support complex enterprise development environments with a unique set of the following capabilities:

Manage business terms and categories
Business Glossary provides a dedicated, web-based user interface for creating, managing, and sharing a controlled vocabulary, including batch
editing capabilities. Terms represent the major information concepts in your enterprise and categories are used to organize into hierarchies.

Manage stewardship
Stewards are people or organizations with the responsibility for a given information asset. By using Business Glossary, administrators can import
steward profiles from external sources, generate and edit profiles in the web interface, and create relationships of responsibility between stewards and business terms or any of the artifacts that are managed by Information Server.

Customize and extend

The needs around business metadata tend to differ from one enterprise to the next. For this reason, there is no “one-size-fits-all” meta-model. In addition to the ability to customize the entry page to the application, administrators can extend the application with custom attributes on business categories and business terms.

It is not enough to simply document business metadata. This information is active in the enterprise with open access to all members of business and development teams. IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary provides a collaborative environment in which users can evolve this important
information asset as the business changes and adapts to market conditions, shifting customer needs and competitive threats.

Contextual search and visibility business term definitions
Business Glossary Anywhere is an application independent search window that can be called from any application (such as Microsoft Excel, data
modeling tools, reporting applications, and Microsoft Word) that provides instant access to Business Glossary terms, taxonomies, and stewards.

Simply Browse
Business Glossary browser is an intuitive, read-only web-based interface that requires no training to use. Business users can search and explore the common controlled vocabulary and relationships, identify stewards that are responsible for assets and provide direct feedback.

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