Business Analysis Technique #5 – Data Dictionary and Glossary

Posted on May 11, 2011 by

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Glossary Review

Glossary, Data Dictionaries and Business Rule review doesn't have to be boring!

Equally at home with Use Case creation, or the earlier generation’s  database analysis,  Data Dictionaries and Glossaries provide a common place to store and retrieve definitions.  They’re used by business and technical roles.  The premise is to understand what is needed for a field of data or an entire table or record of data (aka data set) and let that understanding drive solution delivery .

In Use Case generation they form a close relationship with Business Rules.  Where Business Rules include processing logic – a Glossary Definition is simple expression.  For example the Glossary definition of “Ethnicity” may be referenced by a Business Rule on Equal Employment Opportunity validation and then referenced by multiple Use Cases and Scenarios.  Make sense?

In practice, I’ve seen Glossary definitions evolve into Business Rules and Business Rules trim down to Glossary definition.  The benefit of that swapping is when it’s done with a group of users or customers who then, with the information technology team members, gain a greater understanding of what is involved in their system and how it’s connected!

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