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Add Documentation

Easily document and find descriptions of your data.
Select Star automatically loads and syncs table and column comments and descriptions, and documentation from BI tools and dbt, but you can also add or update documentation easily.
You can also add to and edit documentation easily in Select Star in a few different ways:

Add or edit data documentation

You can easily add documentation to tables and dashboards with the Edit Description button. Document columns by clicking in the description field.
Don't see this option enabled? Your data source may be set to Read Only. This is to prevent your Select Star descriptions from getting out of sync with your data source descriptions.
If you'd like to use Select Star to add descriptions, you can have Select Star Support enable editing on your data source and utilize Select Star's API to write descriptions back to your data source.
Click a column description to edit it
Click a column description to edit it. When the text is gray, this means the description is suggested and has not yet been revised or accepted by someone on your team. Of course, you can always edit the description and hit enter to save and it will become your user description in Select Star (and the text will change to black).
Add Tags on tables, columns, and dashboards, to annotate the category and status of the data asset.
Use the filters in the right sidebar to show tables with higher popularity scores but no description to identify the best places to start documenting.

Propagate table and column descriptions

When you update a column description, Select Star will utilize lineage to notify you if there are direct inheritance on column(s) that use the same data. You can choose which columns to apply this updated description to, both upstream and downstream the lineage chain.

Upload metadata

​Admins and Data Managers can quickly update table and column descriptions in bulk.
Go to Settings.
Click Metadata Upload under the Data Manager section.
Download the .csv template and you can add the metadata you want to change. Then Upload the CSV.
If you need help understanding the CSV Template, see below.
Once descriptions are saved in Select Star, they will be indexed by the search engine and show up in search results right away.

Understanding the CSV Template

The template currently accepts the following fields:
  • Database Name
  • Schema Name (Note: Currently, documentation cannot be added at the Schema Level)
  • Table Name
  • Column Name
  • Description
  • Business Owner
  • Technical Owner
When you fill out the .csv template, make sure you understand the following:
  1. 1.
    Each row represents a metadata update
  2. 2.
    Owners can only be applied at the table level
  3. 3.
    Owner fields are emails of individual users with Select Star accounts
  4. 4.
    You can add Descriptions and Owners in the same row
  5. 5.
    Fields are required up to the level of the documented data
To explain point #5 further, consider an example where the database structure is as follows:
  • Database Name: OLIST
  • Schema Name: DATASETS
  • Table Name: ORDERS
  • Column Name: ORDER_ID
To add a description for a column, put a row in the spreadsheet including the Database Name, Schema Name, Table Name, and Column Name.
To add a description for a table, include the Database Name, Schema Name, and Table Name.
To add a description for a database, include only the Database Name.
To illustrate points #2-4, Owners are added in this example to the table only:
Database Name
Schema Name
Table Name
Column Name
Description
Business Owner
Technical Owner
OLIST
DATASETS
ORDERS
ORDER_ID
Unique identifier of the order.
​
​
OLIST
DATASETS
ORDERS
​
This table has information about all orders.
OLIST
​
​
​
This is database contains all information regarding orders made to the Olist store, including raw data and analytics/reporting data.
​
​