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0425 Subject Areas

Subject areas are topic areas that are important to the organization. Typically they cover data that is widely shared across the organization and there is business value in maintaining consistency in the data values in each copy. The role of the subject area definition is to act as an anchor for all of the subject area materials. This helps to coordinate the efforts to build the common definitions and standards for each subject area.

Each subject area has an owner who is responsible for the common definitions relating to the subject area. Often the subject area owner is a senior person in the organization with expertise in the subject area. He/she coordinates other subject matter experts to author and maintain the common definitions and standards.

This includes:

  • A glossary of terms that describe the key concepts in the subject area.
  • Lists and hierarchies of reference data that relate to particular data values in the subject area.
  • Quality rules for specific data values in the subject area.
  • Preferred data structures and schemas.

The effort required to author and maintain these definitions, plus the governance process required to ensure they are used wherever appropriate is offset by the savings in managing and using the shared data associated with the subject area.

Open Metadata Types

The SubjectAreaDefinition provides the description of the subject area. By creating this definition, is a declaration that data about this subject area is of significance to the organization and will be receiving special attention.

A subject area may be sub-divided into more specific subject areas. The subject areas can be linked together into a hierarchy using SubjectAreaHierarchy relationships.

The subject area definition can be linked to the governance definitions via the SubjectAreaGovernance relationship. An organization can create governance definitions that are applicable to all subject areas, or are specific to the subject area they are linked to. Typically they will have a mixture of these.

Finally the content for the subject area (glossaries, reference data, schemas etc) are identified using the SubjectArea classification that carries the name of the subject area it belongs to. This classification makes it easy to locate all of the subject area's content.

UML

Support for Subject Areas in Egeria

The following Open Metadata Access Services (OMASs) support subject areas:

  • Governance Program OMAS supports the maintenance of the hierarchy of subject area definitions and the associated governance definitions.

  • Subject Area OMAS supports the subject matter experts in building the glossary and valid values for a subject area.

  • Digital Architecture OMAS is for use by technical architects to define reference data, common data models and schema and rule implementations for the data and associated processing of the subject area.

Further Information

The Coco Pharmaceuticals case study includes * Planning for Common Data Definitions * Defining Subject Area

Deprecated types
  • SubjectAreaGovernance - use GovernedBy relationship instead.
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