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What data fields should be included in a Business Glossary?

A business glossary, in its simplest form, is a list of business terms and their definitions. Not to be confused with a data dictionary, the business glossary focuses on business concepts with the goal of defining terms, how they are used, who owns them, and more. 

Companies with complex ideas or deep use of technology need a shared business glossary within their organization in order to maintain a common understanding of terms and concepts. Employees within an organization tend to come from different backgrounds and industries where specific fields referred to different actions or meanings. This is why it is imperative that everyone within a single organization shares a universal understanding of the terms across the business. 

Data fields included in the business glossary can vary according to access and automation. They should be detailed and organized for an easy read. Simple data fields such as item description, data type, sample path, owner, updated, by, etc.,  are accessible to end-users to edit as needed. More complex data fields like origin description and origins calculation description should be generated automatically by the system. 

A proper and detailed business glossary can be the key to ensuring company-wide metadata consistency, successful data governance, and a single source of truth in their assets, reports and dashboards.