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Discover More with Faceted Search in SAS Information Catalog

Started ‎07-06-2022 by
Modified ‎07-06-2022 by
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With faceted search you can look at your information assets, from multiple lenses, called facets. You can search assets by name, asset type, description, by date or by user. You can explore data assets by library, file type, table type, number of columns or rows, size. You can search by column information such as name, label, keyword, or completeness percentage. More surprisingly you can search by language detected, semantic type calculated or data privacy status. Watch the video to understand how faceted search can help you find what you need or discover something new about your information assets.


What Is Faceted Search?


The faceted search in SAS Information Catalog is like a photographer’s lens kit. The facets are the lenses. Each has its own characteristics. They can capture different angles, colors, levels of detail. You switch them, until you can get the perfect shot. The perfect shot can be a unique perspective over your information assets in SAS Viya.




These facets are calculated when assets are automatically indexed or discovered with an agent.


The automatic index keeps track of models, reports, decisions, SAS Studio flows, data plans and CASLIB in-memory or SASHDAT tables available in your SAS Viya.


The discovery agent analyzes libraries: CASLIBs or SAS Compute. It produces tens of metrics for each table or file included in the discovery. These calculated metrics are then associated with facets, through which you can search.  


Faceted Search Short Demonstration


Watch the following short video to understand what faceted search can help you discover in SAS Viya.


Asset Type Facets


Try a faceted search, AssetType, and it will list the asset types catalogued.



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Mobile users: To view the images, select the "Full" version at the bottom of the page.


The results are the union of assets catalogued via:

  • Automatic indexing, e.g. model will list all catalogued models.
  • Discovery agents, e.g. inmemorytable will list all the CAS in-memory tables.


Semantic Types Facets


SAS Information Catalog is using a Quality Knowledge Base to calculate semantic types for columns in a table or file, based on their name or content. It also labels the columns from a data privacy perspective. For example: Column.informationPrivacy: "private" lists all tables that contain private data.




Column.semanticType: "individual" shows tables or files where columns have been classified as belonging to a private person.


Detected Language Facets


More recently, language detection is also performed in long text columns:




Languages: "en" will show you tables that have columns with English language content.


Languages: "zh" will show you which tables have Chinese language content.


Languages: "tl" will indicate assets where Tagalog was detected in a column.


To search all CAS tables that contain Korean language data try: +Languages: "ko" +AssetType: "cas". The + indicates a MUST type of search, which means every facet criterion must be satisfied in the search results.



Combine Faceted and Free Text


SAS Information Catalog supports two types of searches, free text and faceted, which you can mix and match in a single query, for even better precision or more surprising findings.


Software Version


The above examples were produced using the SAS Viya Long Term Support Release 2022.1 (May 2022), although facet search has been around since at least October 2021. You will require a SAS Information Governance license for language, semantic type and information privacy features.


Additional Resources


For more information, see SAS® Information Catalog | Faceted Search. Alternatively, see SAS® Information Catalog | Free Text Search.




The faceted search allows you to look at your information assets, from multiple lenses, called facets. You can search assets by name, asset type, library, file type, table type, language detected, semantic type calculated or information privacy status, just to name a few.


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‎07-06-2022 11:42 PM
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