Reference data

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Reference data are data describing a physical or virtual object and its properties.[citation needed] Reference data are usually described with nouns.[citation needed]

Reference data is used in data management to define characteristics of an identifier that are are used within other data centric processes. For example - reference data within finance might be a product master or a security master.

Typical reference data are:

  • Physical: products, material, assets, customers, locations
  • Virtual: cost centers, planned buildings

Reference data can change over time via transactions (described in transaction data). E.g. a logistical transaction can change the location of an object, a financial transaction like adding tax can change the price of an object and a series of work transaction can change a virtual object like a planned building into a physical object.

Master reference data

A special type of reference data is master reference data - these are reference data shared over a number of systems. Some master reference data are universal (like the list of Countries) and can be covered by a global standard (in this case ISO 3166-1).

Master data and Master reference data

Master reference data are sometimes called Master data. This usage of the term Master data should be avoided,[citation needed] since Master data is also the term used for original data, like an original recording (see also: Master Tape).

See also