How to set up glossaries

The Atlan glossary allows you to add new terms and categories, search for existing glossary definitions, and archive old ones. You can also nest terms under categories and subcategories to create a glossary hierarchy.

Set up a glossary

To define the relevant terms and categories for your data assets, you will first need to set up a glossary.

To create a glossary:

  1. From the left menu of any screen in Atlan, click Glossary and then click Get started.
  2. In the Create new glossary dialog, enter the following details:
    1. For Glossary name, enter a name for your glossary β€” for example, Locations.
    2. In the top right, Draft is set as the default certificate. To change the certificate, click the dropdown arrow and select the certificate you'd like to apply to your glossary.
    3. Click the glossary icon to personalize the icon for your glossary.
    4. For Description, write a short or detailed description for your glossary β€” size limit for description values is 32766 bytes.
    5. For Add owners, add yourself or anyone else in your team as owners of the glossary.
    6. Click Create to add your glossary.
  3. (Optional) From the top right of the glossary profile:
    • Click the user avatars to view a list of recently visited users, total views on your glossary, total number of unique visitors, and total views by user.
      • Use the days filter to filter glossary views and user activity in the last 7, 30, and 90 days.
      • This feature is turned on by default β€” admins can turn off user activity.
    • Click the star button to star your glossary.
    • Click the clipboard icon to copy the link for your glossary.
    • Click the pencil icon to edit the glossary name, description, and icon.
    • Click the Slack or Teams icon to share directly on a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel.
    • Click the bell icon to enable Slack or Microsoft Teams notifications for glossary updates in Atlan.
    • Click the 3-dot icon and then:

Your glossary is now ready for you to start adding terms and categories! πŸŽ‰

Add new glossary terms

Terms are the building blocks of your glossary. While defining a new glossary term, add as much information as possible for your term so that your team fully understands how to use it.

To add a new glossary term:

  1. On the Glossary page, click the + icon next to All glossaries and then click Add term from the dropdown.
  2. In the Create new term dialog, enter the following details:
    1. For Select glossary, select a glossary for your term. In this example, we'll select the Locations glossary.
    2. For Term name, enter a name for your term β€” for example, City.
    3. In the top right, Draft is set as the default certificate. To change the certificate, click the dropdown arrow and select the certificate you'd like to apply to your term.
    4. For Description, write a short or detailed description for your term β€” size limit for description values is 32766 bytes.
    5. For Add owners, add yourself or anyone else in your team as owners of the glossary.
    6. (Optional) Turn on Create multiple to create more terms from the same dialog.
    7. Click Create to add your term.
  3. (Optional) From the top right of the term profile:
    • Click the user avatars to view a list of recently visited users, total views on your term, total number of unique visitors, and total views by user.
      • Use the days filter to filter views and user activity in the last 7, 30, and 90 days.
      • This feature is turned on by default β€” admins can turn off user activity.
    • Click the star button to star your term.
    • Click the clipboard icon to copy the link for your term.
    • Click the pencil icon to edit the term name and description or add an alias to your term.
    • Click the Slack or Teams icon to share directly on a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel.
    • Click the bell icon to enable Slack or Microsoft Teams notifications for glossary updates in Atlan.
    • Click the 3-dot icon to add an announcement or archive the term.
πŸ’ͺ Did you know? Once you've added terms to your glossaries, you can also link them to your assets.

Update your glossary terms

You can also add a term to your glossary without attaching a certificate or adding an owner at first. Once you have completed adding a term, navigate to the sidebar next to the term profile:

  • Click + under Owners to assign owners for a term.
  • Click Draft to update the certificate for a term. Choose from four certificate options β€” Draft, Verified, Deprecated, and No certificate.
  • Click + under Tags to classify the key characteristics of your term and configure tag propagation for linked assets.
  • Click + under Categories to assign a term to a particular category.
  • Click + under any of the associated term options to create relationships between terms.
πŸ’ͺ Did you know? Adding an owner to your term can help your teammates figure out who is an expert on a glossary term. This is the person they should reach out to if they have any questions about the term or would like to collaborate on updating it.

Add new glossary categories

You can add categories to your glossary to better organize your terms and create a hierarchy of information.

To add a category to your glossary:

  1. On the Glossary page, next to the name of your glossary in the left, click the three horizontal dots icon and then click Add category.
  2. In the Create new category dialog, enter the following details:
    1. For Category name, enter a name for your category β€” for example, Country.
    2. In the top right, Draft is set as the default certificate. To change the certificate, click the dropdown arrow and select the certificate you'd like to apply to your category.
    3. For Description, write a short or detailed description for your category β€” size limit for description values is 32766 bytes.
    4. For Add owners, add yourself or anyone else in your team as owners of the glossary.
    5. (Optional) Turn on Create multiple to create more categories from the same dialog.
    6. Click Create to add your category.
  3. Next to the category name in the left menu, click the three horizontal dots icon and then add new terms or subcategories to your category.
  4. (Optional) From the top right of the category profile:
    • Click the user avatars to view a list of recently visited users, total views on your category, total number of unique visitors, and total views by user.
      • Use the days filter to filter views and user activity in the last 7, 30, and 90 days.
      • This feature is turned on by default β€” admins can turn off user activity.
    • Click the star button to star your category.
    • Click the clipboard icon to copy the link for your term.
    • Click the pencil icon to edit the category name and description.
    • Click the Slack or Teams icon to share directly on a Slack or Microsoft Teams channel.
    • Click the bell icon to enable Slack or Microsoft Teams notifications for glossary updates in Atlan.
    • Click the 3-dot icon and then:

Move terms and categories

You can move terms and categories within and across glossaries to better organize your business context. Move terms to a different category or create subcategories within the same glossary or across your glossaries in Atlan.

You will need the following permissions:

  • Moving a term or category from one glossary to another β€” read, update, and delete permissions on both glossaries.
  • Moving a term or category within the same glossary β€” update permission on the glossary you want to reorganize.

To move an existing term or category:

  1. From the left menu of any screen in Atlan, click Glossary.
  2. In the left menu of the Glossary page, you can either:
    • Drag and drop a term or category into the relevant category within the same or a different glossary. In the popup, click Confirm to confirm the changes.
    • To the right of the term or category name, click the three dots icon and then click Move to. In the Move to dialog, select a relevant category within the same or a different glossary and then click Move to confirm the changes.

Search for glossary terms

There are two ways to search for glossary terms:

  • In the left panel of the Glossary page, type the name of your term in the search bar and select your preferred option from the search results.
  • Click the > icon preceding the name of a category to expand the full list of nested terms in that category.

Add READMEs to your assets

For glossaries, terms, and categories, the asset profile provides a helpful summary. For example, the Linked assets section displays all the data assets that are linked to a particular term. This is also where you can add a README.

The secret to making your glossary really useful is to provide as much information as possible. Adding a README will allow you to state your objectives for defining a glossary unit in greater detail.

Inspect glossary terms and categories

The navigation bar to the right of the asset profile provides high-level information about the glossary item you are looking at. Here's what you can view:

  • Overview shows key characteristics of a glossary term or category and helps you understand its relationship to other items in a glossary.
  • Activity displays the changelog for your glossary items. For instance, you can find out who updated a term and when.
  • Resources are links to internal or external URLs that can help your team better understand your glossary items. You can add links from GitHub, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or more as resources to your glossary item to provide additional context.
  • Requests for a particular glossary item can be filtered by their status, such as Pending, Approved, and Rejected.
  • Properties show the unique identification number of a glossary item and other properties. 
  • Integrations show Slack or Teams messages and Jira tickets pertaining to a particular glossary item.

Add associated terms

πŸ€“ Who can do this? You will need your Atlan administrator to enable associated terms β€” except related terms.

In order to inter-relate your terms, you will first need to set up a glossary and then add terms.

To add relationships between terms:

  1. From the left menu on any screen, click Glossary.
  2. Under Glossary in the left menu, click the name of your glossary.
  3. Under the glossary name, click the category in which your term is nested and then click the term you would like to enrich with an associated term.
  4. From the term sidebar to the right, under Overview:
    • For Related Terms, click + to add a term that is related in some way.
    • For Recommended Terms, click + to add a standard form of use for the term.
    • For Synonyms, click + to add a term that is similar in meaning.
    • For Antonyms, click + to add a term that is opposite in meaning.
    • For Translated Terms, click + to add a translated version of the term.
    • For Valid Values For, click + to add applicable values for the term.
    • For Classifies, click + to add an umbrella category for the term.
    • For Classified By, click + to add a term that falls under the purview of the term in use.
  5. In the term dialog, select the relevant option and click Save to confirm your selections.

Your associated terms will appear in the term profile and sidebar.

πŸ’ͺ Did you know? Once you've added associated terms, the interrelated terms will reflect these relationships automatically.

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