Data Dictionary

What is a Data Dictionary, and what does it look like inside Atlan?

What is a Data Dictionary?

A data dictionary traditionally refers to a database dictionary, metadata repository or business glossary. It primarily focuses on the meaning or definition of all columns in a data table.

Atlan's Data Dictionary goes beyond the traditional definition and provides a complete profile of the data.

Apart from defining each column, the Data Dictionary also provides other informationβ€”the column's data type, glossary terms attached to it, classifications linked, and stats like missing values.

✨ Spotlight: The best part of Atlan's Data Dictionary is that it isn't located somewhere away from the data. It is located right next to the data table with all information easily accessible.

Data Dictionary located on the right side of the data table

Feature deep-dive

Atlan's Data Dictionary does not just stop at defining the column. It also provides information that helps you understand the column's properties better.

The best part 🌟 is that most of this information is auto-generated by Atlan's system itself.

Let's look at all the details that are shown in Atlan's Data Dictionary.

1️. Column description

The description for each column is shown in the Data Dictionary.

If the description is present in the source, it will get automatically picked up. Otherwise, you can edit or add your own definition.

2️. Data type

The data type (like number or text) of each column is also shown, through both text and symbols.

3️. Column-level metrics

  1. Distinct values: Number and percentage of unique values in the column

  2. Missing values: Number and percentage of missing values in the column

  3. Frequency: Occurrence of each value, shown as a histogram and a value (on hover)

All these metrics are auto-generated when the data catalog runs through the data profile. Check out the automated data profile article to learn more.

️4️. Classification and glossary terms

To provide full context, the classification and glossary terms attached to the column are also shown.

Want to know more about how to create and add glossary terms? Check out the article below πŸ‘‡