An earlier blog post summarized a method that listed 6 components to consider when writing a good business glossary definition. Another earlier post discussed the first component which is "uniqueness within a category or description". In this blog post I want to discuss the fourth component in more detail. This component, "Add Valid Value Lists or Reference Data Lists", benefits from a standardized approach.
A valid value list or a reference data list is a set of possible values permissible to use in a data field. A valid value list is usually defined locally. A reference data list is usually defined and maintained by a third party, and formally adopted for local use within an organization. Two examples of a reference list that would be locally adopted include Dun & Bradstreet’s list of company names and the US Postal Service list of state name abbreviations.
This fourth component discussed in today's post provides several approaches that help the definition writer be consistent in listing or referencing valid values and reference lists.1. If the list is short, fewer than 8 items, include the list at the end of the definition and label it unambiguously as a complete list. For example:
The status of a student with regard to registration for a term. Values are: Registered; Study Abroad; Probation; Withdrawn.
2. If the list is too long to list all of the items, use a URL to point to the list published elsewhere. This URL source should be accessible to all or to most readers without additional logins. For example:
An instructional program leading to a degree or resulting in credits that can be applied to a degree. View the complete list of 42 programs at http://yourschool.edu/academicprograms
An administrative grouping of people with a common business purpose. Contact the Human Resources office for a list of departments.
A group of academic disciplines that form a substantive branch of knowledge. Examples include: humanities, social science, natural science, engineering, medicine, and nursing.
Hope this blog post provides you useful information regarding valid value lists or reference data lists. If you need help in implementing data governance, remember that IData provides data governance services. A data governance solution like the Data Cookbook can help in successful implementation of data governance at an organization and improving data quality. Feel free to .
(image credit HubSpot_colorful-markers-2-ValidLists_BP #1113)