A Data Glossary (often called a Business Glossary) is a central document that defines how business terms are used across an organization. It ensures that the organization has a single source of truth for key concepts and terms. This helps avoid misunderstandings when it comes to data quality, data policies, regulations, and data owners. A data glossary is vital, as a single term could otherwise have several meanings and be understood differently across departments or regions. When joining or interacting with new organizations, it’s vital that stakeholders familiarize themselves with the new organization’s glossary to avoid accidental misunderstandings or miscommunication.
Data glossaries are not the same thing as data dictionaries. Data glossaries are used to define terms for consistency in human understanding, while data dictionaries are used to describe data elements for interpretation by databases.