Product overview

The IBM Knowledge Accelerators provide an out of the box vocabulary that is imported into Watson Knowledge Catalog, consisting of thousands of business terms, which are designed to help businesses accelerate enterprise governance and regulatory compliance, and enable self-service search for data consumers, across an enterprise.

The IBM Knowledge Accelerators are available as industry-specific vocabularies for Healthcare, Insurance, Energy and Utilities, and Financial Services with the following components:
Figure 1. IBM Knowledge Accelerators components
Overview of Knowledge Accelerators components

For an overview, watch the video IBM Knowledge Accelerators - Introduction.

Business Core Vocabulary

This is the grouping of interconnected business terms that provide the enterprise with a standardized central vocabulary of business language to connect the various technical and IT users.

The terms in the Business Core Vocabulary:
  • have a range of defined properties
  • can be related to each other and to other components
  • are organized by categories aligned with key business-meaningful groupings
  • help standardization and communication within a company
  • enable users to create a common, enterprise-wide picture of data requirements and the associated business issues
  • pre-integration with Watson Knowledge Catalog data classes means that the business terms in the Business Core Vocabulary can also represent a vital business layer to underpin Data Governance and self-service Business Intelligence
The main advantages provided by the Business Core Vocabulary are:
  • definition of key business information that is used in day-to-day business operations and analysis
  • provision of a consistent set of terms that can be used by both business and technical teams to describe the information in their physical environment
  • as an initial contact point for most users and so it is imperative that the language creates a positive first impression of the overall IT environment's usefulness and quality
  • help for business users in understanding information that is used by IT assets by allowing traceability between business terms and IT assets
  • developed IT solutions that are driven by business requirements

Back to top

Business Performance Indicators

Business Performance Indicators comprise high-level business information that is used by the enterprise to express business measures along axes of analysis, which are named dimensions. Business Performance Indicators allow business users to fully articulate the requirements for analysis, or reporting.

Business Performance Indicators provide the answer to a particular business issue or goal that is identified at top-management level as a business opportunity, based on the analysis of business facts. By combining measures and dimensions, the Business Performance Indicators define a specific business opportunity context, and the associated links to terms in the Business Core Vocabulary in order to determine which parts of the vocabulary are needed to fulfill a specific analysis or reporting requirement. 

Back to top

Business Scopes

A Business Scope is used to identify a subset of the Business Core Vocabulary that supports a particular business issue, project area or business function. Business Scopes are expressed as categories that each include a number of term references. Business Scopes contain only referenced Terms in the Business Core Vocabulary and Business Performance Indicators categories. Business Scopes never own any Business Terms.

Users can create their own Business Scopes to support their project requirements. For example, several Business Scopes can be created in the course of a project, each capturing data items added in a particular phase of the project. Business Scopes can also be used to capture the required content of a report or the total coverage of a source system model as mapped into the Business Core Vocabulary.

Back to top

Industry Alignment Vocabularies

Most organizations have a range of external standards and regulations with which they are obliged to align or comply. The Industry Alignment Vocabularies describe the data requirements of the standard or regulation, incorporating terminology that originates from an internal or external source, and support data structures. The types of data structures typically supported include regulatory reports, industry standards, business architecture standards, vendor interfaces and legacy source systems.

In addition to structures and terms reflecting the source regulation or standard, the Industry Alignment Vocabularies also have mappings to the relevant terms in the Business Core Vocabulary so that an organization can quickly determine the impact or coverage of that regulation or standard on data structures and the enterprise terminology.

Back to top

Reference data

Reference data quality and consistency are key within an organization. The IBM Knowledge Accelerators includes industry-specific reference data that is mapped to the core business vocabulary. The reference data sets can also be extended or customized with values from existing data sources. Watson Knowledge Catalog can use this reference data along with Data Classes to profile the data.

Back to top


Each of the categories and terms in the IBM Knowledge Accelerators are classified and tagged. The use of Classifications and tags assists business and technical users when searching and navigating the vocabulary.

Back to top

For more information about IBM Knowledge Accelerators, see

The following topics have more detail for each industry.