In any business glossary, there are various ways to treat the values for a glossary term. For example, the term "employment status" may have 3 values: active, terminated, retired. Each value may (or may not) be documented as a term as well, at the discretion of the steward for that term. This page documents the options a steward has for treating values for a Data Cookbook term.


A steward chooses one of these options to document values:

Option 1

Treat the values as terms themselves and link to them in the functional or technical definition of the broader term.

Example: River Campus is a defined as a campus location, and is listed along with 4 more campus locations in the functional definition for campus location.

Option 2

List the values as text in the functional or technical definition.

Example: employment status.

Option 3

Publish the values outside of the Cookbook and point to that location within the functional or technical definition.

Example: building

Option 4

Is the value set widely re-used or widely referenced?  Set up a reference data set or use an existing reference data set. More about reference data sets.

Considerations for Choosing an Option

Does the value appear as a column heading or other key element in a specification you are recording? Consider Option 1. Why? If the value carries a prominent location in a reporting tool, it implies it is an important concept.

Is the list of values really long, over 30 items? Consider Option 3. Why? A list of this length is difficult to display within Data Cookbook. Publish the list externally to Data Cookbook, perhaps on a web page or other remote location, and provide a link to download the list of values. Note that value lists published externally are not searchable within Data Cookbook.

Is the list short, fewer than 30 items? Consider Option 2 or 3. Why?  Option 2 is a good choice if the list is quite short (fewer than a dozen items) and you want the list searchable. The Search algorithm tracks keywords in the term name, functional definition, and technical definition. Consider Option 3 if searching is not important and you don’t want to clutter the functional or technical definition with a list of values.