Before Octopai’s Automated Business Glossary became available to BI teams, the exercise of building a business glossary looked something like this:
1. The BI team would start by listing terms and definitions in a document, most likely a spreadsheet or some other tool, such as a wiki.
2. Months of work would ensue. Every term in every report and data asset had to be examined to determine its meaning. Relationships among different terms had to be identified and documented. The exercise involved conducting interviews and digging up old design documents (if they existed).
3. Because the process was manual, errors were made. Subtle differences in meanings were missed. Overlaps in meaning among different terms were left unresolved. Calculations and transformations were recorded incorrectly.
After all that work, the endless meetings, and the frustrating searches down myriad rabbit holes, the organization was not much closer to a unified business glossary than when they started.