Associate Data Automatically

When using the Associate Data Automatically option, associations are created based on matching the name of the selected data elements with the information in the key column of a metadata table previously saved in the Navigation Area. Matching is done according to three possible schemes: Exact, Prefix and Suffix (see Matching schemes).

Note: This option is to be used carefully when data elements already have associations with the metadata table. In addition to adding any new associations, the already existing associations will be updated to reflect the current information in the metadata table. This means associations will be deleted for a selected data element if there are no rows in the metadata table that match the name of that data element. This could happen if, for example, you changed the name of a data element with a metadata association, and did not change the corresponding key entry in the metadata table.

To associate data automatically, click the Associate Data button at the bottom of the Metadata Table view, and select Associate Data Automatically.

Select the data the tool should consider when setting up metadata associations. This can be done by selecting individual files, or the content of an entire folder as seen in figure 10.10

Image select_all_data_in_folder
Figure 10.10: Selecting all data elements in a folder.

Specify a role that should be assigned to each data element that is associated to a metadata row (figure 10.11). The role can be anything that describes the data element best.

Image metadata_associate_data_role
Figure 10.11: Provide a role for the data elements. The default role provided is "Sample data".

Select whether the matching of the data element names to the entries in the key column should be based on exact or partial matching.

Image metadata_associate_data_matching
Figure 10.12: Data element names can be matched either exactly or partially to the entries in the key column.

Choose to Save the outputs. Data associations and roles will be saved for data elements where the name matches a key column entry according to the selected matching scheme.

Matching schemes

A data element name must match an entry in the key column of a metadata table for an association to be set up between that data element at the corresponding row of the metadata table. Two schemes are available in the Association Data Automatically for matching up names with key entries:

Partial matching rules

For each data element being considered, the partial matching scheme involves breaking a data element name into components and searching for the best match from the key entries in the metadata table. In general terms, the best match means the longest key that matches entire components of the name.

The following describes the matching process in detail: