Unstructured Data and Business Glossary

Douglas Thompson

Unstructured Data and Business Glossary

We currently have a business glossary where we document definitions, derivation, valid values, etc. for our critical data elements.  Our focus has been structured data included in our data warehouse.  I am interested in understanding how people are handling unstructured data from a business glossary perspective.  My initial reaction is to treat in the same as structured data, the only difference being it is not captured in a set a database tables. 

Thanks

Doug

Merrill Albert

RE: Unstructured Data and Business Glossary
(in response to Douglas Thompson)

My thought on unstructured data is it only becomes valuable once structure has been applied to it.  For instance, if you don't know where it is or what's in it, how will you ever find it and use it?

william burkett

RE: Unstructured Data and Business Glossary
(in response to Douglas Thompson)

Personally, I don't think the business glossary "cares" where the term being defined is used, in structured or unstructured data.  For example, I think the term "conformance" is great term to have in your business glossary, but it's not likely to be part of any structured or unstructured data (metadata, perhaps.)  

Justin Hauck

RE: Unstructured Data and Business Glossary
(in response to Douglas Thompson)

I would think it would come down to how you define that your "focus has been structured data." Do you have a good handle on the structure data being input into the business glossary? If not then I would think you wouldn't want to boil the ocean by trying to do the structured data and the unstructured data. If you are nearing completion of that, then I would think you would want to start with trying to "structure" the unstructured data. Working with the business lines/areas you could establish a best practice of what is a business definition, business rules, valid values, etc. Doesn't do you much good to use a business glossary as a single source of truth if you aren't tying in the whole business.

william burkett

RE: Unstructured Data and Business Glossary
(in response to Justin Hauck)

You know: not to sound like (too much of) a smart @$$, but the "business glossary" for unstructured data could be your standard desktop dictionary like Merriam-Webster, OED, etc. 

Gary Jordan

RE: Unstructured Data and Business Glossary
(in response to william burkett)

I agree.  Unstructured data is becoming so common that the Business Glossary should include terms for both structured and unstructured data.  Business users want a central location for all the definitions regardless of data type or source.

Gary Jordan

Sr Principal Business Data Analyst

Red Hat

919-210-3078