Reference data are data describing a physical or virtual object and its properties. Reference data are usually described with nouns.
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, since Master data is also the term used for original data, like an original recording (see also: Master Tape).
- Data modeling
- Master Data Management
- Enterprise bookmarking
- Data architecture
- Transaction data