SAS Business Data Network is SAS’ solution for managing glossaries of common business terms. This is part of the SAS Data Governance offering as well as bundled with Advanced versions of all SAS Data Management bundles. One thing that is important regarding Data Governance in general, and this solution in particular, is the ability to search for terms. SAS Business Data Network provides a web search that is sometimes overlooked, but can be used in different ways to help you derive meaning and context from your data. Let’s take a look.
1 – Use a URL to get to the main web page
The main URL that brings you to the SAS Business Data Network Search page is http://<host>/SASBusinessDataNetwork/search
The search box allows you to search business terms using a specific string. This string is processed entirely, no AND or OR operators. Specifying 2 words will generate a search of those 2 words consecutively. The following fields are processed for the search: Name, Description, Requirements, Attributes, Links, Associated Items and Notes. It is case insensitive and one has to sign in if not already logged on.
After a search, among the results, you can choose to open one term in particular or all the terms in SAS Business Data Network.
2 – Customize the URL and call it from external applications
You can also parameterize the search URL and then integrate with it or call it from any other application.
For example, the URL http://<host>/SASBusinessDataNetwork/search?q=gender will search for the string “gender” in all business terms.
The URL http://<host>/SASBusinessDataNetwork/search?q=currency+code will search for “currency code”.
The same search results page will open.
This is very useful when you want to seamlessly integrate SAS Business Data Network with other SAS applications or external applications in order to provide more insights on the sense of an indicator or the terminology of a business noun. Within SAS Visual Analytics, we can easily define such parameterized URLs to help the business user understand the meaning of a measure for example. See the end for an example.
3 – Use the bookmarklet to search for highlighted text
You can use the bookmarklet to interact with the BDN search capability smartly. The bookmarklet enables you to search against BDN for a highlighted text in your browser.
That means that you can call SAS BDN search from any HTML page in the company. A user can browse an intranet article and call BDN for more information on a term. He can open a business report and call BDN for more information on a specific value.
To install the bookmarklet, you need to follow instructions described in the SAS Business Data Network Search extras.
4 – Use the browser search provider
You can register SAS Business Data Network Search as a search provider with your browser. This will allow the user to search strings in a dedicated zone in the toolbar.
To install the search provider, you need to follow instructions described in the SAS Business Data Network Search extras.
A final example
I talked earlier about integrating a Visual Analytics report with BDN in order to provide explanations of a specific data item: what is the meaning of that data item? How is it calculated? Who owns that data item? Has there been a change recently in the formula? What is the lineage of that data item? These are questions which BDN can help to answer… Note example treemap from SAS Visual Analytics below.
An external link to BDN search is easily configurable in SAS Visual Analytics.
BDN also supports deep linking to go directly to a term, without going through search results. This capability requires additional data from the calling SAS Visual Analytics solution.
These are just a few examples of some of the incredible power that SAS Business Data Network gives you to relate and search for business and technical metadata to improve discovery and increase the sharing and reuse of your data assets.
Thanks for your attention and I hope you found this post helpful.