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7 Examples of Reference Data

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Reference data is data that is used to structure and constrain other data. It is typically stable information with a known set of values that rarely change. As the name suggests, reference data is designed to be referenced by a wide variety of other data. This is done in order to create a standard vocabulary and structure across diverse systems and data sources. The following are common examples of reference data.

Geographical Locations

A list of valid states for a country.


A list of known stars.


Constants such as PI.


A structure for calendars such as a list of valid months and days of the week.


A list of currently valid stock tickers for a market. Provides a common reference for a large number of financial transactions.


A list of standard computing values such as HTTP status codes.


An organization defines a product catalogue that is used as a reference for other data such as customer orders. For example, a shoe company defines a product catalogue with 50 current products and 1000 legacy products. The company's sales, marketing, ecommerce, manufacturing and supply chain systems all refer to the same products using references to the product catalogue such as a product id.
Overview: Reference Data
Data that is used to structure and constrain other data.
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Types Of Data

The basic types of data.

Transactional Data

A definition of transactional data with examples.

Machine Data

The common types of machine data.

Master Data

A definition of master data with examples.

Quantitative Data

The common types of quantitative data.

Atomic Data

A definition of atomic data with examples.

Source Data

The common types of source data.

Context Awareness

The common types of context awareness.

Raw Data

The definition of raw data with examples.

Data In Use

A definition of data in use with examples.

Reference Data vs Master Data

The difference between reference data and master data.

Master Data Management

An overview of master data management.

Customer Data

A list of common types of customer data.

Data Examples

Common examples of data.

Data Collection

An overview of data collection with examples.

Unstructured Data

A definition of unstructured data with examples.
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