How to set up glossaries

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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. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. On the Atlan homepage, click Glossary in the left menu and then click on Get Started.
  2. In the New Glossary popup, enter a name for your glossary, such as Locations.
  3. For Description, write a description.
  4. Next, click Create to add your glossary.

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 new glossary terms, follow these steps:

  1. On the Glossary page, click on the + icon next to All Glossaries and then click Add Term from the dropdown menu.
  2. In the popup display, enter a name for your term. For example,City.
  3. For Description, write a short or detailed description for your term.
  4. While adding a new term, Draft is set as the default certificate. To change the certificate, click on the dropdown arrow and select the certification you'd like to apply to your term.
  5. To add an owner to your term, click Add Owners to add yourself or anyone else in your team as owners for this term. 
  6. Click Create to add your term. 

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've completed adding a term, navigate to the right-hand panel next to the asset profile and:

  • Click + under Owners to set owners for a term.
  • Click Draft to update the certification status of a term. Choose from four certification options: Draft, Verified, Deprecated, and No certificate.
  • Click + under Classification to classify the key characteristics of your term.
  • Click + under Categories to assign a term to a particular category.
  • Click + under Related Terms to add other associated terms to provide more context.
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 categories to your glossary, follow these steps:

  1. On the Glossary page, click on the name of your glossary in the left panel and then click on the + icon to make a selection from the dropdown menu. 
  2. To add a new category, click Add Category.
  3. In the popup display, enter a name for your category, such as Country, and add a description.
  4. While adding a new category, Draft is set as the default certificate. To change the certificate, click on the dropdown arrow and select the relevant option.
  5. To set owners for your category, click Add Owners and add yourself as an owner or anyone else in your team.
  6. Click Create to add your category.

  7. To add new terms or subcategories to your category, click on the three vertical dots next to its name and then select the relevant option from the dropdown menu.

Assign existing terms to categories

To add existing terms to a category, follow these steps:

  1. In the left-hand panel of the Glossary page, drag and drop the term into a relevant category.
  2. In the popup, click Confirm 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 a README 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 for your teammates and end users is to provide as much information as possible for your glossary. Adding a README allows you to state your objectives for defining a glossary unit in greater detail. To add a README, follow these steps:

  1. Click on a term or category in your glossary and then navigate to the Readme section for that unit. Click +Add.
  2. You can either:
    • Click +Blank Page to create a new README from scratch.
    • Click Use to select an existing template as a starting point.
  3. Enter your knowledge into the README.
  4. Click Save.

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 shows 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 help your team better understand your glossary items. 
  • 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 messages and Jira tickets pertaining to a particular glossary item.  
πŸ’ͺ Did you know? You can add links from GitHub, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or more as resources to your glossary item to provide additional context.

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