Data Governance Kitchen
Episode 8: How to structure a business glossary?

Now let’s pick another question, which is how to structure a business glossary.

Laurent Dresse, Data Governance Evangelist:

First of all the business glossary for me is the most critical part of your data catalog and data governance journey in your company.

Because this is the part you will expose to the entire organization and in which you will build this unified view of the data and this common language across the organization, available to anyone and also available for feedback and collaboration by the experts.
So in terms of structuring a business glossary, for me, there are a couple of strategies.

The first one could be: you structure everything by business units or by line of business. It brings the segmented view of ownership, but with a lot of redundancy.

Why?

Because if we look at client data, for instance, client data will be used across multiple business units. So each time you will have to re-document this information, which is not an efficient way to manage your content.

So to avoid that, I strongly suggest that you manage your business glossary based on big data buckets such as client, product, employee or so.

This will allow the uniqueness of the terms you document, and then afterward you contextualize them with relationships to other elements, to other domains, to other sources.

And then the last option or one of the last options is to mirror your data mesh architecture in the business glossary by detailing the data products dataset field-associated, and the domains responsible for them.

So there you will only be able to document, of course, your data product ones and avoid redundancy and have this domain-driven view of your glossary.

So as you understand, there is no one way of doing things. it should mainly, I would say, reflect your organization and maturity around data governance.

One key aspect is that you should never be afraid to challenge in agile way the iteration of your business glossary and bring content as you move along with the population of this module.

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