Learning all the ins and outs of the jargon associated with the field of data asset management can feel like learning another language. This non-exhaustive glossary is an important resource to guide you through the ever-changing field of data asset management.

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Asset An asset is a resource held by an organisation that has potential or actual value to the organisation.
Asset management Asset management covers all the activities necessary for an organisation to add value to its assets, balancing costs, risks, opportunities and performance. Asset management covers all types of assets and all activities involved in the full life cycle of assets.
Asset portfolio An asset portfolio is a collection of assets of the same type, and asset systems, specific to one or more business areas of an organization.
Asset system An asset system is a system composed of assets that interact with each other according to a predefined linking mechanism. An asset may belong to several asset systems. An asset system can be considered an asset.
Asset type An asset type is a grouping of assets with common characteristics that distinguish them as a group or class.
Business object

A business object is a conceptual representation of an element of reality that is meaningful to an organisation. The enterprise data model represents all the business objects, or resource types, of an organisation and their relationships.

Business unit A business unit is an organisational unit that, within its business domain, is responsible for managing a portfolio of resources for an organisation and the related data.
Chief data officer A chief data officer is a senior manager in an organisation who is responsible for data management. He or she is at the heart of the organisation's various operational and strategic issues and relies on a multidisciplinary team to make the most of the knowledge derived from the data assets and make it accessible for decision-making purposes.
Conceptual data model A conceptual data model describes the semantics of object classes and their relationships within datasets. The conceptual model is a high-level abstraction of the data, and therefore does not contain any characterisation (typing) of the object classes or technical considerations related to data storage or processing.
Cross-functional resource A cross-functional resource is a resource that is commonly used by the majority of business units in an organization.
Data A datum is a raw description at a given moment of an elementary part of a resource. It is devoid of any reasoning, supposition, observation or probability. A data item is associated with a variable (property) and its observation (value), either qualitative or quantitative.
Data is a set of elementary data.
Data architecture

Data architecture consists of the policies, regulations and models that define the requirements for acquiring, storing, processing, organising, integrating and publishing an organisation's data. Data architecture is one of the pillars of enterprise architecture activities.

Data archive A data archive is a storage repository containing an archive of all or part of data sets. The data contained in it describes old resources that no longer exist.
Data economy Like any economy, the data economy is a human activity that consists of the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of products; in this case information products.
Data infrastructure

A data infrastructure is a digital infrastructure that supports the sharing and consumption of data. Like other infrastructures, it is a necessary system for the functioning of an economy, which in this case is the data economy.

Data lake A data lake is a storage repository containing a large amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. It is a space for storing data sets in their native format with no fixed limit on their size or number. It provides access to a large amount of data to increase the integration and analysis capabilities of raw data.
Data management Data management covers the development, execution and oversight of plans, policies, programmes and practices that deliver, control, protect and enhance the value of an organisation's intangible assets of data and information throughout their life cycle.
Data mart A data mart stores all the data relating to an analysis or publication theme of an organization. The content of the data comes strictly from the corporate data warehouse. The structure of the data is based, among other things, on the data exchange models to which the organization is subject.
Data model A data model is a model of reality that defines the structure and content of datasets. It is a mapping of the types of resources defined in an information model to the datasets needed for any information system.
Data repository

A data repository is a place where data is stored and access is guaranteed through an application service.
Data repositories can be broken down into several major classes: data sources, data warehouses, data marts, and data archives.

Data scientist A data scientist is an employee responsible for adding value to the organization's data through analyses based on statistical and machine learning models. He or she manipulates all the data in order to extract knowledge useful for optimising the organization's activities.
Data source A data source is a storage repository containing data sets acquired from outside the organization or whose content is created and maintained within the organization.
Data steward A data steward is an employee with a deep understanding of the business meaning of the data portfolio they manage, as well as an operational understanding of how data is represented and linked within data pools.
Data swamp A data swamp is a lake of data that is saturated by the integration of a multitude of unorganised and unclassified data, making it inaccessible or of little value to the users concerned.
Data warehouse A data warehouse is a storage repository containing all the consolidated data specific to a particular business area of an organisation. The structure of the data reflects a consolidated view of the business area in question, thanks to the integration of all related data sources.
Dataset A dataset is a homogeneous collection of data.
A dataset defines a set of resources of the same types. A dataset can be of a simple type, where it is referred to as a single entity class, or complex if it consists of several related objetc classes. A dataset can have a tabular, tree or graph structure.
Digital twin A digital twin is the set of data describing a resource throughout its life cycle.
Enterprise architecture

Enterprise architecture is a set of practices for analysing, designing, planning and implementing the development of an organisation. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles to guide organisations through the business, informational, procedural and technological changes necessary to execute their strategies.

Enterprise data model An enterprise data model is a conceptual representation of the organization's business objects, their general structure and relationships. It corresponds to the conceptual modelling layer exposed by the enterprise information model.
Enterprise data warehouse An enterprise data warehouse is a global data warehouse containing a consolidated view of all the data in an organisation. It stores a consolidated history of the organisation's data in accordance with the enterprise information model.
Enterprise information model An enterprise information model is based on the principle of semantic convention to define the relationships and properties of all types of resources in the organization. It brings together all the information models of an organization into a consolidated, uniform and standardised view, across all business domains.
Geodata Synonyms: geographical data
According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], geodata are spatially referenced data that describe the extent and properties of given areas and objects at a given time; in particular, the position, nature, use and legal status of these elements.
A geodata is a dataset that systematically contains a geographical dimension.
Geodata model According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], a geodata model is a representation of reality that determines the structure and content of geodata independently of any computer system.
Geodata service According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], a geodata service is a networkable application that simplifies the use of geodata through computerised services that provide access to it in a structured form.
Geodata warehouse A geodata warehouse is a data warehouse containing all the geodata of an organisation, regardless of the field of activity.
Geographical data Geographical data is data with spatial reference.
Geographical information Geographic information is spatially referenced information.
Geographical information system A geographical information system is an organization-wide information system designed to collect, store, process, analyse, manage and present all types of spatially referenced data.
Geoinformation Synonyms: geographical information
According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], geoinformation is spatially referenced information acquired by linking geodata.
Geoinformation is distinguished from information by the fact that it contains one or more geographical dimensions.
Geopresentation model

According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], a georepresentation model is a definition of graphical representations for the visualization of geodata, for example in the form of maps or plans.

Geoproduct A geoproduct is a spatially referenced information product such as a geodata or geoinformation.
Geospatial metadata According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], geospatial metadata are formal descriptions of the characteristics of geodata, such as their origin, content, structure, validity, currency or accuracy, the rights of use attached to them, the possibilities of accessing them or the methods for processing them.
A geospatial metadata differs from a metadata in that it describes a geodata.
Geospatial reference data According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], geospatial reference are official geodata that serve as the geometric basis for other geodata. Geospatial reference data are reference data whose spatial reference is used to characterise other datasets.
Information Information is a set of data that is processed, organised, structured or presented in a given context to make it useful.
Information model

An information model is a representation of concepts, relationships, constraints, rules and operations for specifying the semantics of data in a specific business domain. It provides a structured and shared definition of the information requirements of the business domain concerned, in a formalism that does not constrain the structuring of the associated datasets.

Information product An information product is a set of datasets made available through physical or digital media as a finished or on demand product.
Information system An information system is a system for collecting, storing, processing and distributing information. The information system of an organization includes all its cross-functional and sectoral information systems.
Life cycle The lifecycle of a resource is broken down into several key phases, each of which can be named and detailed differently depending on the type of resource being considered.
The lifecycle of data is aligned with that of the resources it describes through the following phases: planning / design / acquisition / deployment / maintenance / optimisation / archiving.
Logical data model A logical data model describes the semantics of the content of datasets, through a data exchange formalism (language). It consists for example of object-oriented entity class descriptions, XML tags, etc.
A logical data model specifies the semantics of a conceptual data model.
Master data Master data are authoritative data within an organisation. Master data describes resources that are cross-cutting to an organisation and can be linked to each other or to other sectoral resources.
Metadata A metadatum is a piece of data describing a dataset.
The term metadata is used to describe a set of metadata describing the same dataset.
Minimal geodata model According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.620], a minimum geodata model is a geodata model prescribed by the competent authority for an official geodata.
A minimum geodata model is a geodata exchange model.
Object class Synonyms: entity class
An object class defines a homogeneous set of resources with common properties that distinguish them as a group or class.
Official geodata According to the Swiss Geoinformation Act [RS 510.62], official geodata are geodata that are based on a federal, cantonal or municipal legislative act.
Official geodata are master data whose authority is based on a legal basis to which the organisation is subject.
Ontology An ontology defines the common terms and concepts, or semantics, used to describe and represent a knowledge domain. An ontology can range in expression from a taxonomy (knowledge with a minimal hierarchy or parent/child structure), to a thesaurus (words and synonyms), to a conceptual model (with more complex knowledge), to a logical theory (with very rich, complex, coherent and meaningful knowledge).
Organization An organization is a grouping of interacting individuals with a collective purpose.
Patrimony A patrimony is the totality of the physical and intangible assets of an organisation. Data are part of the intangible assets of an organisation.
Physical data model A physical data model describes the actual means by which data is stored. It is directly dependent on the intended storage technologies as well as the constraints of the data processing requirements.
Product A product is a good or service provided by an organization for use by itself or by another organization. A product becomes a de facto resource for the organization that uses it or an asset for the organization that acquires it.
Reference data Reference data are data used to characterise or classify other data. They usually correspond to value domains, equivalence tables, or ontologies.
Reference information model A reference information model is an information model external to an organization that is taken into consideration by the organization to standardise its business information model. Reference information models can be legal regulations, business standards or technology standards.
Resource Anything that can be used as needed by an organization to carry out an activity. A resource is an element of reality. The representation, or modelling, of it is subject to human perception and understanding of reality.
Resource type A resource type groups resources with common properties that distinguish them as a group or class.
Sectorial resource A sectorial resource is a resource specifically used by a business unit within an organization.
Semantic convention The process of reaching consensus on the definition of resource types used by different business units within an organisation. Consensus is not about achieving a single definition of each resource type, but about consolidating the definitions of each business unit around common resource types that are consistent with the organisation's regulations.
Spatial data infrastructure Synonyms: Geographical data infrastructure

A spatial data infrastructure is a data infrastructure consisting of the policies, regulations, technologies and human resources that enable the discovery and use of geographical data.


A system is a set of interacting or interdependent resources that form a unified whole. A system is delimited by its spatial and temporal boundaries, related to its environment by its inputs and outputs, described by its structure, and defined by its functioning. Any system is considered a resource and can be part of a higher order system.