Reference data is data that is used to describe other data. This kind of information is usually created and managed by an organization and is used to help standardize how data is described within that organization.
But what is the exact definition of reference data? Reference data is a term used in business and computer science to refer to data that is used as a basis for other calculations or data. For example, a company’s customer list would be considered reference data because it is used as the basis for calculating sales totals and other metrics. Keep reading to learn more about reference data.
How do you use this kind of data in your business?
Reference data is a type of information that is used as a reference point for other types of data. It can be used to help ensure the accuracy of data, to improve performance or efficiency, or to make sure that data meets specific requirements. Reference data can come from a variety of sources, including external databases, internal databases, or flat files. It is typically stored in a format that makes it easy to use and access. In order to be effective, reference data must be maintained and updated regularly.
Reference data can be used to help identify records in a database or to help describe the contents of a file. It can also be used to help define relationships between different pieces of data. In computing, reference data may be stored in a database or file system, while calculation results are often stored in memory.
How do you create and manage a data catalog?
A reference data catalog is a collection of data objects that are used as lookup values in other applications. Reference data is often used to populate fields in a user interface, such as a drop-down list or radio button group. The reference data catalog can be managed in a few ways:
- Manually create and manage the reference data catalog. This approach is time-consuming and error-prone.
- Use a tool to automatically generate the reference data catalog from an underlying source of truth, such as a database or spreadsheet. This approach ensures that the reference data is always up-to-date but may be more expensive to implement and maintain.
- Integrate the reference data management functionality into an existing application, such as a master data management (MDM) system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This approach provides a single point of control for managing the reference data and can automate the population of user interface fields with the latest values.
What are the benefits of having this kind of data?
Reference data is beneficial in that it can be used to improve the accuracy and completeness of other data. It is often used as a reference point in order to ensure that data is correctly processed and interpreted. Reference data can also help to improve the efficiency of business procedures by providing standard definitions for common terms and values. Additionally, reference data can help to reduce the risk of errors by providing a single source of truth for data management purposes.
Is there a downside to using this kind of data?
One downside to using reference data is that it can add complexity to your system and can make it more challenging to manage and update your data. Additionally, if your reference data is not accurate or up-to-date, it can cause problems for your system as a whole.
Overall, reference data is important because it provides a foundation for all other data. It is used to define terms and identify relationships between data elements. Also, reference data is essential for creating accurate and reliable data models.