Deep-Dive Articles

Business Glossary - A Deep Dive

Business Glossary is a central repository containing a comprehensive list of all the terms. Each term in this glossary is defined with a business description that communicates what the term means. Additionally, users will find extra attribute details about each term.

Terms are one of the main building blocks for OvalEdge, essential for understanding the organization’s essential KPIs, processes, terminology, abbreviations, and relevant company-specific jargon, phrases, and business language to harness their full potential effectively. Business Glossary Terms can be associated with data objects a part of the data catalog. This process of association will be covered later in the article. 

However, when glossary terms are applied to the cataloged data objects, they provide additional context and meaning to these data objects through the data association rules. 

Business Terms do more than just define – they can help apply security policies to the data. This means terms can be used to put protective measures in place, like setting policies on who can access it, masking sensitive information, and sorting data objects based on different classifications based on confidentiality or sensitivity, setting up Governance Roles to oversee the terms quality and integrity.

Terms Security

In OvalEdge, when creating a new user, a user is assigned a role along with specific permissions categorized as "Meta-Data" permissions (which include Meta-Read and Meta-Write) and "data" permissions (ranging from no access to preview, read, and write) on the profiled data and data summary. These permissions determine how users can engage with OvalEdge based on their assigned roles and permissions.

For the purpose of this discussion, our main focus will be on Metadata permissions, such as Meta-Read and Meta-Write, is a pivotal role permission that ensures that the right individuals have the necessary access and control of a domain.

Meta-Read: Users with meta-read access and permissions on the domain can access and view terms pertaining to the domain within the Business Glossary. This means that they can view the term details, and read through the descriptions, default associations, data object associations, term relations, classifications, and other details related to the terms of the domain.

Meta-Write: Users with meta-write privileges and authorized permissions on the domain will have the additional capability to not only be able to view term details but also actively curate, edit, and revise them. This level of privileges allows them to make changes such as modifying term descriptions, adjusting term relationships, adding or removing data object associations, editing default associations, and curating the terms within the domain as needed.

Note: Users and roles without domain permissions will not be able to see the Business Glossary Domains or their related terms.

Term Status - Published / Draft

A new term will initially be in a draft status. In the draft status, term details, including properties, object associations, classifications, and term relationships, can be curated and edited by users with domain privileges (meta-write access). Once the term is published, the details are fixed and cannot be edited. The term must be published for the term properties to be applied to the associated data objects.

Term Attributes 

Term Attributes are the additional pieces of information and metadata associated with each term within the business glossary. These attributes provide users with a comprehensive understanding of a term's context, usage, and significance.  Each term within the Business Glossary provides extra attribute information. This includes details about status, popularity, published by, published on, the term's relationships with other terms, associations with data objects, specific term default associations, and the assignment of governance roles (Owner, Steward, Custodian), top users, etc. Below are the details of each attribute:

a. Top Users:  "Top Users" display a list of active users who have engaged with the term, including their associated scores. By default, the owner, steward, custodian, and other governance roles (if configured) are prominently displayed at the top right of the page. Other users who have interacted with the term are listed based on their activity count such as commenting, endorsement, etc.

Here's how the scoring works:

  • When a user accesses the term page, the user view score is increased by one.
  • If a query is executed on the data object, the user query score is incremented by one.
  • When users add comments to the term, their comment score is also increased by one.

b. Endorsement Rating: Endorsements help users to build trust in a data object based on how other users have perceived it. It is the collective average of all the ratings given by different users. Users can endorse a data object by assigning a star rating, the score increases by 1 for a one-star rating and by 5 for a five-star rating.  However, if a user raises a red flag due to issues with the data object, it results in a decrease of 10 points in the Endorsement Rating.

c. Add to Projects: Users have the option to include selected terms to a default project for the purpose of enhancing term content and quality in response to evolving business requirements.
d. Catalog: Displays the count of data objects (Tables, Files, Reports, Columns) that the term is associated with.
e. Configure Search Keywords: The "search keyword configuration" feature enables users to assign custom shortcuts or keywords to specific terms, streamlining and expediting the global search process for quicker access to desired information. Any user who has access to the domain and term, even if being a business user (viewer license) can configure search keyword. 

f. Download Term Details: This feature allows user to download term details in xls format. 

g. Add to My Watchlist: By adding a term to the watchlist, the user will be able to get a notification whenever a Metadata change occurs for that particular term. 

h. Popularity: Popularity Score can be a useful metric for understanding how widely a term is used within a group of users. It is a score calculated from the number of times the users interacted with the term by viewing, endorsing, commenting, and adding tags to it. In this table, we have listed actions and their respective impacts on the popularity score. Some actions increase popularity, some decrease it, and some have no effect on it.


Popularity Score

Navigate to the term summary page

+ 1 

Add a comment


Endorsement Rating (5-star rating)

Based on the star rating, the Endorsement Rating increases by 1 for a one-star rating and by 5 for a five-star rating.

Add Tag

+ 4 

i. Created By/ Created Date: Displays the users who have suggested or created the term and the date and time on which the term is created.
j. Published By: Displays the user name who has published the term from draft status.
k. Published On: Displays the date and time on which the term is published.
l. Last Modified Date: Displays the date and time when the last modifications or changes were made to the term attributes, such as modifications made to the business description, tags, custom fields, and other related information.
m. Approval Date: If the term was initially suggested and required approval, this field indicates the date and time when it was officially approved.
n. Service Request Count: Displays the total number of service requests raised on this term that include suggesting a term, content change, etc. 

Default Associations

  • Term Descriptions
  • Term Data Associations
  • Term Data Object Associations
  • Tags
  • Governance Roles
  • Classifications
  • Term Relationships

Term Descriptions

Each term has two key descriptions that help users understand the term's meaning and purpose.

  • Business Description: This provides the core definition or context of the term. 
  • Detailed Description: An extension of the Business Description, this section includes additional information like codes, images, and formulas. 

Users with Meta-write permissions can modify the descriptions and add multimedia (text, videos, links) elements. 

Term Data Associations

A Term, when created in a selected domain, automatically inherits the default domain associations that have been configured during domain creation by the domain creator or SAG’s (Security and Governance Administrators). These default associations encompass actions such as copying descriptions and titles, applying data masking, setting restrictions policies, and applying classifications. These associations can be customized within a term’s detailed page based on individual preferences. 

Data Associations allow for enforcing security measures, ensuring proper data classification, and placing governance stakeholders in charge of overseeing the quality and content of the term. This framework is essential for ensuring data integrity and bolstering control and flexibility in data management within the organization. 

The data association options include:

  • Copy Title to Catalog: It replaces a data object's original title with that of the associated term name, simplifying data discovery and standardization. 
  • Copy Business Description to Catalog: It replaces a data object's original business description with that of the associated term. This action enhances the understanding of the data object by providing enriched context and information.
  • Masked: Users can apply policies to the associated data objects to protect and conceal sensitive data, thereby preventing unauthorized access to the data. 
  • Restricted: By setting restrictions, organizations can control who has access to specific data objects, enhancing overall data security.

If a term is associated with a data object with restriction / masking policy and classification. Then the association, policies and classification get associated with the data object 

But after associating if the term is moved to draft state then other policies get reverted but Restriction and Masking policies stay thus the sensitive information won’t be exposed. Even if the term is removed the Restriction and masking policy will stay and can be removed from the administrator's end. 

  • Copy Steward / Custodian / Owner / Governance Role 4,5,6  to Catalog:  It transfers the Governance role to the associated data object. The assigned Governance Role for the data object will have the responsibility of overseeing and maintaining the data object's quality. They will also assist data consumers in resolving any issues related to the respective data object.
  • Classification: Classification functionalities categorize data based on Sensitivity, confidentiality, or PII data,  making it easier to understand the nature and purpose of different data objects.

When default associations are chosen at the term level, they are extended and implemented on the data objects associated with that term. These configured associations determine the control measures that are to be applied to those data objects. If the term becomes disassociated from the data objects, no control measures will be in effect. To enhance control and manageability, it is crucial to select and apply appropriate associations.

Term Data Object Associations

A Data Catalog with cataloged objects is undeniably valuable because it simplifies data discovery and provides insights into the details of data objects, including metadata, profiling statistics, lineage, and relationships. However, businesses also require a thorough understanding of data objects and the ability to control their security at a granular level. This involves implementing measures such as data masking, policies, classifications, and restrictions. This is where the Terms come into play.

Business Glossary Terms can be linked with cataloged data objects like tables, table columns, reports, report columns. These terms can extend their properties to enhance the context and security of the data objects via the data association rules. 

When a term is linked to a data object, it influences the data object's actions based on the term's properties and classifications. If the term is removed from the data object, the data object reverts to its original state. This means that any masking, restrictions, classifications, or assigned governance roles are removed, and the previous roles are restored.

Terms can be associated with data objects through two methods: Manual Association and AI Recommendations.

Manual: Users have the flexibility to manually associate a term with multiple data objects. Within the Business Glossary  > Term Details page and Data catalog List View or object summary page, provide the option to update a single term across multiple data objects in bulk.

Through the term summary page in the associated data tab: 

Through Data Catalog via 9-dots: 

AI Recommendations: Term suggestions can be generated to identify relevant data objects associated with that term in the entire data ecosystem. These suggestions take into account factors like the term relevance, the data object, and the Smart Score. This method streamlines the process by recommending suitable terms. Users can then click "approve" or "reject”, to associate the term to data objects reducing the manual intervention in identifying the data objects. 

Associated Tags 

Tags serve as a systematic and logical method for grouping relevant terms together. This grouping makes it easy to find and locate terms, reducing clutter and confusion by properly organizing data. Users can utilize tags to filter and narrow down their search, helping them identify relevant terms or data objects more easily. 

Applying tags to a term does not impact the associated data objects; instead, they are employed to group terms for the discovery of terms.

Term References 

The Reference tab on the Term Summary page helps you keep track of where a term is used in different parts of the system. Whenever a term shows up in the description of objects like tables, columns, files, reports, or APIs, a reference is created. This means user can easily see all the places where the term is mentioned.

The Reference section on the Term Summary page acts like a central hub, showing you a list of specific locations where the term has been used. This makes it easy for user to understand how the term is used throughout the system, and you can quickly go to those objects for more details. It's a simple way to make sure users always know where a term is referenced.

Governance Roles 

Governance stakeholders are crucial in ensuring the quality and consistency of terms and attributes within our Business Glossary. They are the subject matter experts in their respective domains and are responsible for addressing any concerns raised by the data users related to terms and their attributes.  These roles are responsible for maintaining the quality and consistency of terms.

These governance roles assist data consumers by maintaining term quality and addressing any concerns that arise as our business evolves and undergoes changes.

Each term by default will have governance roles Owner, Steward, Custodian, and additional Governance Roles 4, 5, and 6 configured at the domain level.  At the term level, Admin users have the ability to modify these governance roles, ensuring that individuals with the right expertise handle each term appropriately. The notable advantage here is that we can update governance roles for individual terms without affecting the broader domain configuration.

When governance roles are assigned to a term associated with a data object, the responsible stakeholders are accountable for maintaining the quality and integrity of their respective areas. However, if term properties such as 'copy owner to catalog' are enabled, the governance roles of the data object will be replaced by the term's governance roles. Upon dissociation of the term, the governance roles will be removed, and the original governance roles at the object level will be reinstated.

Term Classifications

Classifications allow the categorization of data objects based on their sensitivity and significance. This categorization process is essential to ensure that confidential information is handled and protected appropriately. 

Security and Governance Admin users  of the domain has the flexibility to set up classifications within a specific domain, aligning them with their organization's specific needs. For example, a user can establish labels such as "PII", "Privacy",  "Sensitive",  "Internal", "Public", etc. as classifications. This classification system aids in the organization of data objects according to predefined criteria, including levels of confidentiality, privacy, data sensitivity, and compliance standards.

The default classifications configured at the domain level,  automatically apply to all the terms created under that domain. Plus, these classifications extend to the data objects linked to those terms. If the classifications are not configured at the domain level, they will not be visible at the term level. However, if some classifications are configured but not marked as defaults, they will be visible on the term's detailed page, accompanied by checkboxes. To apply these classifications to data objects, users will need to manually check the checkboxes at the term level or domain level.

When term classifications are chosen and applied to data objects, it simplifies users' comprehension of each data object's purpose. They can promptly identify sensitive or restricted data, enabling them to make more informed decisions. However, when a term is disassociated from a data object, the applied classifications on that data object are also removed. This means that highly classified or sensitive data objects may no longer be readily identified.

For more details on classification please refer to the document: 


Term Relationships

Term Relationships are links that a specific term has with other terms and data objects in the ecosystem. These relationships serve as a road map for understanding how a term is connected to other terms or data objects, making it easy for users to find relevant information, explore and understand the related terms, and gain valuable insights into the interconnections within the data and business concepts. 

Facilitating this process distinct relationship types are designed to capture the nuances of semantic connections. It helps identify terms that are synonymous or related, which is important for data quality and data lineage tracking. 

Synonym Relationship:

A synonym relationship signifies that two terms, such as "Car" and "Automobile," share the same meaning and are interchangeable. When a user establishes a synonym relationship between them, it means that users can use either term to refer to the same concept. Thus, data associated with "Car" or "Automobile" can be governed in the same way because these terms represent identical concepts.

Related Relationship

Conversely, a related relationship like the one between "Car" and "Gasoline," indicates that these terms are connected or associated in some way, but they are not synonyms. When users explore the "Car" term, they might want to understand its connection to "Gasoline" because cars often use gasoline as fuel. However, it is crucial to note that "Car" and "Gasoline" have distinct meanings and are not interchangeable. The related relationship helps users grasp the associations between different concepts for a more comprehensive understanding. 

Listed below are the different relation types OvalEdge supports:

Relationship Type



"Contains" is a relational term denoting that Term1 encompasses or includes Term2, indicating a hierarchical or compositional relationship between the two entities. This relationship implies that Term2 is a constituent or part of Term1.

Example: Folder "Contains" Documents

Is Contained in

The "Is Contained In" relationship between a term and a data object (table) signifies that the term is part of or included within the content of the table. In other words, the table holds data or information that involves or relates to the specified term.

Example: Folder "Is Contained in" Drive

Is related to

Establishes a general connection between the term and the data object, highlighting a shared association.

Example: Customer "Is related to" Consumer 

Is synonym to

Links the term and data object as synonyms, signifying interchangeable usage and meaning.

Example: Software Developer "Is synonym to" Programmer


Depicts that the term derives the value for a data object or another term. E.g Selling price calculates Profits

Calculates from

Denote a connection where data or values are derived through systematic computations, allowing for precise analysis and informed decision-making. E.g. Profit is calculated from selling price and cost price

Replaced by

Demonstrates that the term has been superseded or substituted by the referenced data object.

Example: Traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) Replaced by Solid State Drives (SSDs)

Replaced from

Indicates that the term has replaced the referenced data object in usage or significance.

Examples: Manual Data Entry "Replaced from" Automated Data Integration

Filtered by

Specifies that the term is influenced or affected by the filtering process of the data object.

Example: Candidates "Filtered by" Qualifications


Specifies that the term influences or filters another term or a data object from a larger set.
Example: Patient "Filters" Healthcare Provider

Is before

Details chronological or sequential relationships between the term and data object.
Example: Research "Is before" Publication

Is after

Details chronological or sequential relationships between the term and data object.
Example: Launch "Is After" Development


Highlights that the term shares identical or overlapping content with the referenced data object.
Example: Customer Data duplicates Customer Info


This depicts that the term defines or is a part of another term's/related object's definition.
Example: Algorithm defines Step-by-step procedure

Contrasts with

This depicts that the term has a different meaning opposite to another term or data object

Is a type of 

This depicts that the term belongs to the same family of its related terms or data objects
Example: Python "Is a type of" Programming Language

Has types

This depicts that the term has different types of itself and those types are the related objects.
Example: Electronic Device "Has types" Smartphone, Laptop, Tablet

Is of

This depicts that the term is a member of a another term or a data object
Example: iOS is of Apple


This depicts that the term recognises another term or a data object through a certain criteria
Example: Candidate "Qualifies" for a Job Position

Is qualified by 

This depicts that the term is recognised by another term or a data object through certain criteria
Example: Candidate "Is qualified by" Experience

Term Relationship Diagram 

Users can access the term relationship diagram from the term summary page which displays the connections a term has with other terms and data objects within the ecosystem. In this diagram, the term in the center is surrounded by related terms and objects, connected by lines to illustrate the relationships.

The diagram is a strategic tool for businesses to grasp the interconnections within their data, simplifying the comprehension of complex information. This, in turn, empowers organizations to make more informed decisions based on the relationships. 

Users can effectively search and filter information to swiftly locate the information they require, be it specific terms, particular types of relationships, or in-depth analysis of interconnected objects. This diagram essentially functions as a map that guides the exploration of how different terms within a business are intertwined.

Extending Attributes via Custom Fields

Custom fields offer a means to include extra term information or details that are not covered by standard term attributes in the Term details page of the Business Glossary. Users can create custom fields for text, code, numbers, and dates to enhance searchability and data usefulness. These custom fields can be configured globally for all domains or for specific domains. 

When custom fields are created for a specific domain, terms linked to that domain will display the additional fields in their details page within the Business Glossary.

In the absence of global or domain-specific custom fields, no additional fields will be displayed.


Collaboration functionality is enabled on every term summary page to encourage users involved in data analysis, projects, or quality assurance to communicate. It facilitates targeted discussions, and participation and maintains the quality of terms, maintaining the overall quality of the term. 

System Settings

System settings play a pivotal role in fine-tuning the Business glossary-related application settings to meet your specific needs.  These settings are a comprehensive range of options that span interface customization, AI-related configurations, and the ability to enable or disable specific buttons or parameters.  

Change Management on Terms

Who can perform change management?

Governance stakeholders [Owner, Custodian, Owner, Governance Roles 4,5,6 (if configured)] and the users with Meta-Write privileges on the domain can change the Term details within the Business Glossary.

Viewer users holding Meta-Read permissions can initiate the creation of new terms, and deletion of any existing terms by raising a service request that undergoes an approval workflow. Once approved, these terms are seamlessly integrated into the glossary. Furthermore, if Viewer users wish to suggest content changes for a term, they can do so through the 9-dot options menu. These content change requests also follow an approval workflow, ensuring that modifications are carried out if they meet the validation criteria.

Changing Domain of a Term

The process of changing the domain for a term allows users to keep the Business Glossary terms updated and aligned with the evolving business’s dynamic nature.  Moreover, it significantly enhances the findability of terms, empowering users to quickly locate relevant terms based on their specific areas of interest and focus.

Changing Category / Subcategory of a Term

Moving a term to a different category enables users to navigate and access relevant terms efficiently. By placing terms in the most appropriate category helps users understand the term's context more accurately and delve deep into specific knowledge domains.  It is imperative to ensure that these terms belong to the same domain to migrate to a different category. To move to a different category in a distinct domain, the term should first be relocated to the desired domain (List View of Business Glossary) and then have its category adjusted accordingly.

Updating Governance Roles at Term Level

The default governance roles set at the domain level automatically apply to the terms created within that domain. Additionally, at the term level, we have the ability to modify the governance roles, ensuring that individuals with the right expertise handle each term appropriately. The notable advantage here is that we can update governance roles for individual terms without affecting the broader domain configuration.

Term Deletion

In a specific domain where terms are created, the authorized users and designated roles, and the governance stakeholders (including Owners, Stewards, and Custodians), have the authority to delete terms. A confirmation notification is presented to confirm the deletion.

Deleting a term involves removing all connections between the term and associated data objects. This means that when a term is deleted, the initial link between the term and data is dissolved, and associated properties like classifications, masking, restrictions, and governance roles are also removed from the data objects.

Change Management through LMDF & APIs

Load Metadata from Files - Business Glossary 

Load Metadata from Files is a feature in OvalEdge that allows users the capability to manually create and perform bulk updates on terms within any domain. This includes modifying term descriptions, associations with data objects, term relationships, and default associations like applying masking, restriction, updating governance roles and more. Users can effortlessly achieve this by downloading a template, making the necessary updates, and then uploading it back into the application. The automated process ensures that the business glossary is promptly updated with all the required changes.


APIs- Business Glossary

OvalEdge offers a comprehensive set of API services that play a pivotal role in effectively managing your business glossary terms. Listed below are some of the various API services offered by OvalEdge to effectively interact with the organization's glossary and manage your business glossary:

  • POST API - allows adding new terms into the business glossary and associating terms to data objects.
  • GET API - to retrieve and view term or domain details and associated object details enabling effortless access to critical information for enhanced decision-making and understanding.
  • DELETE API - to delete terms or remove data objects associated with a term.