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Working with a new customer I try to find out the company ontology (internal language). They use specific words that could mean different things in other context, but internally they have specific phrases and expressions that all employees know. This is something that has evolved over time, but is (unfortunately for me) not written down. How do I document this ontology, and how do I make sure that I don’t miss anything?

So far I’ve interviewed a few of the longest employed staff, but I’m not confident I’ve made a complete ontology.

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If you look on one of the main ontology libraries online, they might have a business ontology that you could use for comparison? Iirc Linked Open Vocabularies is a widely respected one, but I just had a look and the eCommerce ones are pretty specialised. There's also Rhizomik, which I hadn't come across before, which has a page of business ontologies.

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  • So then you have a list of terms like invoice, proof of delivery, statement, credit note, etc, and you can ask the company what terms they use for these concepts. Dec 22, 2015 at 10:10

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