Business terms

Defining industry concepts in plain business language, business terms have properties and can be related to each other. Business terms are organized by business categories and by hierarchies. Clearly defined business terms help standardization and communication within a company. Mapping to the data models enables users to create a common, enterprise-wide picture of the data requirements, and to transform these requirements into IT data structures.

The main objective of business terms is the definition of key business information that is used in day-to-day business operations and analysis. Business terms also help to understand information that is used by IT assets by allowing traceability between business terms and IT assets. As a consequence, developed IT solutions are driven by business requirements.

Business terms must not include terms that are not meaningful to a business user. Business terms capture the data requirements, not the database requirements. The database modeling activity happens next in the data models, when the business terms are modeled by using entity-relationship (ER) modeling artifacts, such as entities and attributes. Business terms must be traceable to IT assets, but all artifacts that are defined in an IT asset do not have to be traced back to a business term. For example, abstract artifacts or technical artifacts can be introduced during modeling. Such artifacts are not traced to business terms. This does not mean that a business term cannot include levels of abstraction if the abstraction is business meaningful.

Business terms are also organized in classification hierarchies that focus on clearly understanding the component parts of business issues.