Benefits of an Enterprise Data Dictionary

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An established data dictionary provides numerous benefits for Federal Student Aid:

- Improved data quality: Labelling information consistently, with agreed-upon
definitions for data elements and a common set of properties for each data element,
makes systems and data analysis easier and business intelligence more effective
because of access to high data quality information in the EDD.
- Easy access to trusted data: Business owners and developers access to validated
data including approved definitions and properties supporting Federal Student Aid
applications and systems in one central location. As the EDD will be available
online, the information provided will always be up-to-date and changes are
immediately available to all users. The delay caused by distribution of paper releases
is eliminated.
- Improved documentation and control: Managing and maintaining all data elements
through the EDD ensure consistency and completeness of the data element
description.
- Reduced data redundancy: Describing data elements and the use of a defined set of
properties for each data element reduce or eliminate the creation of redundant data
elements. The EDD also allows controlling the addition of new data elements and
thereby avoiding duplicates.
- Reuse of data: Creating the EDD promotes reuse of data and sharing of information
across Federal Student Aid and the community of interest.
- Consistency in data use: Implementing a consistent labelling and agreed-upon
definition for data elements across applications as well as a defined set of data
standards such as naming conventions leads to consistency in data use.
- Easier data analysis: Business owners and users might use the EDD as a vehicle for
robust query and report generation.
- Simpler programming: Using a common set of properties for each data element and
consistent labelling of data elements ensure that business and programmer analysts
can easily identify relevant data to support implementation of business requirements.
- Enforcement of standards: Implementing the EDD with its structure and required
data properties establishes an agreed-upon standard that allows for monitoring,
controlling, and enforcement of adherence to the standard.
- Better means of estimating the effect of change: The EDD will help to identify
impact of changes made in the dictionary and its relevant applications and vice-versa.

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