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Business terms

Business terms

You create business terms to standardize definitions of business concepts so that your data is described in a uniform and easily understood way across your enterprise. Business terms can describe the contents of the data, the sensitivity of the data, or other aspects of the data, such as the subject or purpose of the data. You can assign one or more business terms to individual columns in relational data sets, to other governance artifacts, or to data assets.

You can use business terms for these goals:

  • Show that columns with different column names have the same type of data.
  • Translate from technical or obscure column names to terminology that makes sense and has an accessible definition.
  • Link assets that have similar data.
  • Link policies and rules that affect similar data.
  • Simplify writing data policy rules by using one term instead of multiple different column names.
  • Define relationships with other terms.

For example, suppose your company has data that includes personal identification numbers from people in many different countries. The columns that contain personal identification numbers are named with abbreviations of the country-specific terms, for example: "SSN" for US Social Security Numbers, "SIN" for Canadian Social Insurance Numbers, "UID" for Indian Unique Identification Numbers, and so on. If you create a business term named "Personal identification number" and assign it to all the columns that contain personal identification numbers, knowledge workers then understand that the "SSN", "SIN", and "UID" columns contain the same type of information and what that information means. You can view the term's Related content page to see all the data assets that contain personal identification numbers and all the policies and rules that control personal identification numbers. You can create a policy with a rule that masks the values in all columns assigned the "Personal identification number" term.

Not only the status of a term determines whether the term is in use, such as published, but you can also set effective start and end dates to specify when a term is in use.

You can extend, refine, and improve your business terms if you import Knowledge Accelerators. Each accelerator includes business terms that are organized in categories.

For new accounts in IBM Knowledge Catalog, Lite and Standard plans predefined business terms are available in Knowledge Accelerator Sample Personal Data category. For more information, see Predefined business terms.

Some IBM Knowledge Catalog plans have limits on the number of terms you can create.

Next steps

Parent topic: Governance artifacts

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