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7 Examples of Master Data

 , November 05, 2016 updated on February 21, 2017
Master data is information that an organization can agree upon. Organizations often have disparate information sources that may duplicate similar data with little agreement on standard definitions. Master data is an important class of data as it represents an opportunity to manage and govern data as a single source of reference. Master data can be any type of data as long as an organization agrees to a single definition. The following are examples.

Reference Data

Reference data is data that defines permissible values in other data. For example, a list of standard currency codes or currently valid stock tickers.

Customer Data

Perhaps the single most common type of master data are customer records. In many cases, marketing, sales and operations have different views of how customer data should be structured. However, it is often critical to achieve this agreement because customer data is central to a large number of processes.

Product Data

A product catalog that lists product information and specifications.


Data that represents an individual such as an employee is a perfect candidate for master data management.


Transactions such as purchases and stock trades.


Tickets used to track issues, problems or customer interactions.

Analytical Data

Data that supports decision making such as market data that details price and trade-related information for a financial security.
Overview: Master Data
DefinitionInformation that an organization can agree upon.
ValueOperational efficiencies gained by single sources.
Streamlining data management and governance.
Reducing data quality related issues. It is easier to maintain one copy of customer data correctly than to maintain dozens or perhaps hundreds of different copies.
Related ConceptsData
Master Data Management
Data Custodian
Types of Data
Product Catalog


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