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Overlay business context using Business Glossary in Azure Purview

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.

A business glossary contains common business vocabulary that’s used by everyone in an organization. It consists of a list of business terms, definitions, and their relationships that organizations use to ensure the same definitions are used company-wide when analyzing data.

Azure Purview’s business glossary capability provides data stewards a simple way to define glossary terms and then tag the terms to data assets and schemas discovered via the automated scanning process. Business users can then start their data discovery journey by searching on vocabulary or terms, such as “Customer” or “Finance,” that are more familiar to them rather than relying on technical names like ‘AdataumSQLServer.”


Hierarchical business glossary
A business term in the Azure Purview Data Catalog represents an entity or a process in an organization. It’s very common in enterprises to have multiple meanings for the same term, depending on the business context. For example, API is both “Application Programming Interface” and “Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient” in a biotechnology company. Another classic example is “Customer” – its definition in a sales department is different from that in a finance department. To solve this ambiguity, Azure Purview allows the definition of hierarchical business terms (parent-child relationship between terms). So, in the earlier example the parent terms will represent the uber context of “Sales” and “Finance,” whereas the child term is “Customer.”

To summarize, having hierarchies between terms will help with the following:


Term templates and custom attributes
Azure Purview provides a set of system attributes, such as definitions, stewards, experts, and acronyms, to enrich business terms. However, organizations often need to add their own metadata as part of term definition. To facilitate this, Azure Purview provides the ability to define custom attributes, group those attributes in Term templates and then use the template as part of term definition.



Import and export functionality
Creating or updating terms manually in Purview Studio is a time-consuming activity. So, to simplify the management of business terms, Azure Purview provides the ability to load multiple terms using a single .CSV file. Azure Purview also provides the ability to download multiple terms in a single .CSV file. Hence, a customer can select the terms to modify, download them in a single .CSV file, do the changes, and upload them again.



Discover data sets using business terms
Glossary terms defined in Azure Purview can be tagged to assets and schemas for entities added to the Azure Purview Data Map either manually or via automated scanning process. This establishes business context for all the technical assets, and then business users can use the business terms to search and identify the data sets they are interested in.


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