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Master Data & Reference Data

Master Data is the fundamental data for operating transactional systems such as ERP,  SCM,  MES,  and analytical systems like EDW, Big Data as well.

Typical characteristics of master data include:

  • Consist of Identifier(ID) and Content (Attributes)

  • Describe core entities of business

  • Used in multiple systems in various IT environment

  • Slowly changing data e.g. Product, Raw Material, Asset, Facility, Location, Organization, etc.

Reference data is a dataset that defines a list of values to be used as property values of the other data for classification and categorization.

Characteristics of reference data include:

  • Consist of ID and Name (description)

  • Provide lists of possible value entries

  • Improve accuracy and efficiency of business communications

  • Static or slowly changing

Glass Buildings
Master Data Domains

As the business environment varies by industry, so do the domains of master data.
Support for multiple domains is the minimum requirement for any MDM solutions.

For example, typical master data domains of the manufacturing industry are:

Why do we need MDM?

By systematically managing master data in terms of metadata, governance, quality, and process, organizations hold a trustful source of master data, MDM. Data consistency can be achieved by having applications reference the trustful source. Data consistency is a must to streamline work processes for timely decisions and quick business responses.

The advantages we can anticipate from MDM include:

Ensure master data consistency across the enterprise

  • Use of standardized master data between systems such as legacy, ERP, and so on.

  • Minimize cross-code mapping and grouping for reporting/aggregation.

Establish governance of enterprise master data

  • Only users with authority can search, create and change the master data within the scope of authority.

  • Define Ownership for Master Data.

Keep high-quality master data

  • Clean up unused and duplicate data

  • Ensure master data accuracy, consistency, and timeliness

Manage to Master Data Process

  • Automation of master data management process

  • Master Data Lifecycle Management

  • Provide change history management and audit trail

Keyboard and Mouse
MDM System Requirements

Master Data Repository 

  • Accommodate multiple domain

  • Support multiple classification

  • Use various property type

  • Manage the relationship between the data across domains

  • Manage reference code


  • Various search functions for user

  • Process to create/change/block master data

  • Provide process report

  • Bulk data create/change 


  • Define workflow by domain or class

  • Create/change master data only through workflow

  • Manage access authority by class or property group

  • Manage change history

  • Collaborate with a groupware workflow system

  • Code creation rule by domain or class

Data Quality

  • Prevent duplication of master data

  • Manage data quality rule

  • Data cleansing function for property values

  • Data quality inspection on data creation

  • Quality Indicator Management

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