What is reference data

The quality of reference data is essential for ensuring the accuracy of data sets built on top of it. Reference data must be accurate and up-to-date so that the data sets that rely on it are also accurate. Reference data is data that provides context for other data. In some cases, it may be used to verify the accuracy of other data sets. It can enhance understanding, improve communication, and facilitate decision-making. Keep reading to learn what is reference data and how it can be used in your organisation.

What do you use reference data management for?

Reference data is a critical element of big data and analytics initiatives. It provides the foundation for analysis by identifying the relevant entities and their relationships. Reference data management (RDM) ensures that reference data is high quality, accessible, and usable. For example, a customer’s name and contact information might be stored in a database as reference data. When another piece of data needs the customer’s name or contact information, the reference data can be used to look up that information.

The first step in reference data management is identifying the business requirements for reference data sets. This includes understanding the types of analyses performed, the entities involved, and how they are related. Once the requirements are understood, the next step is to gather and cleanse the source data. This can be challenging since reference data can come from many different sources, including internal systems, external feeds, and public records.

Once the source data is cleansed, it must be standardised to be used effectively in analytics applications. This involves defining common definitions for terms and creating codes or identifiers to identify each entity uniquely. The final step in reference data management is to make sure that the reference data is available to everyone who needs it. This may involve creating a central repository or making it available through an API.

What are the benefits of reference data?

There are many benefits to having reference data in your business, including:

  • Increased accuracy and completeness of data: This type of data is often more accurate and complete than other data sources because it’s carefully curated and maintained.
  • Improved decision-making: It can help you make better decisions by providing a complete and accurate picture of your business.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Reference data can help you streamline your operations by providing the correct information at the right time.
  • Reduced risk: Providing accurate and up-to-date information can help reduce risk in your company.
  • Better customer service: This type of data can help you provide better customer service by giving you a complete view of your customers and their needs.
  • More significant competitive advantage: Reference data can give you a competitive edge by helping you make better decisions.
  • Improved compliance: This data can help you comply with regulations by providing accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Increased ROI: This data can help you get more value from your data by providing a complete and accurate view of your business.
  • Faster time to value: This type of data can help you get value from your data quickly and easily by providing the correct information at the right time.

How do you manage reference data?

Reference data is a critical component of any organisation’s data infrastructure. It’s the foundation upon which all other data builds, and it’s essential for ensuring that data is accurate and consistent. Managing reference data requires a strategic approach considering the organisation’s specific needs and requirements.

There are several key considerations when managing reference data:

Scope: The first step in managing reference data is to define its scope. This includes identifying the types of information that will be included and the sources from which it will be drawn.

Quality: Reference data must be of the highest quality to ensure accuracy and consistency across systems. This requires rigorous quality control measures to be in place throughout the process, from acquisition to use.

Governance: A well-defined governance framework is essential for the effective management of reference data. This framework should include roles and responsibilities, procedures for change management, and mechanisms for ensuring compliance with quality standards.

How do you use reference data in your business?

Reference data is a type of data used as a reference point for other data. It can be used to verify the accuracy of additional data or help identify its source. In businesses, reference data can be used in many ways, such as verifying customer information, validating orders and transactions, checking product codes or SKUs, identifying supplier information, and investigating fraud. Reference data helps ensure that data is accurate and consistent. This is critical for organisations to make sound decisions and effectively carry out their business operations.

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