Term and Data Definitions (Knowledge Navigator)

Last updated: August 11, 2022

Knowledge Navigator is your guide to UW data and information. It is designed to give context to the enterprise data you use for decision-making.

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Knowledge Navigator

What is Knowledge Navigator?

Answering questions with data is not always easy, but Knowledge Navigator makes it a little easier! Knowledge Navigator is a web-based application that allows UW enterprise data users like you to begin exploring key concepts from subject areas including Student, Finance, HR/Payroll, and Research Administration. The tool also visually demonstrates how key concepts are linked to physical data objects like reports, databases, and APIs. 

Where do the terms and data definitions come from?

Knowledge Navigator is a great tool, but the process for getting agreement on terms and definitions is just as important! Subject matter experts from the different domains meet to discuss and vet terms and definitions, and provide additional notes, rules, and examples. Once the contributors reach agreement, the data custodian for a subject area approves the information and it is published in Knowledge Navigator.

How is a glossary published in Knowledge Navigator?

Generally speaking, the glossaries seen in Knowledge Navigator (KN) serve as connectors to reports and data. A connection leads from a term definition within a glossary to the BI assets (like SSRS reports and Tableau dashboard) referencing the term to the data assets where that term may be instantiated. In other words, if a report is being published on our Enterprise reporting portals, it will likely require a data model from within the Enterprise Data Warehouse and that data is likely to fall under one of the six Data Subject Areas / Data Domains, thus the glossary is affiliated with one of the six Data Subject Areas / Data Domains.

The following are required in order to publish a glossary in KN:

  • A relation to one of the six Subject Areas / Data Domains that UW data fall under: Student/Academics, Research, Human Resources, Financial Resources, Space, & Advancement
  • An owner of the glossary
  • A Data Custodian to approve the terms within the glossary as Institutional Definitions
  • A group of Subject Matter Experts to vet the term definitions before they go to the Data Custodian for their approval
  • Established processes to provide updates to your glossary

Connect with Us!

Do you have a feature request? Would you like to request a demo of Knowledge Navigator for your department? Do you have feedback on how to improve a term or data definition?

To connect with the Knowledge Navigator team, simply email our metadata manager via help@uw.edu.

Learn More with These Handouts:

Term Vetting

Learn how we partner to create data definitions

Knowledge Navigator

Explore Knowledge Navigator’s key features