The challenges are not limited to determining what master objects are used. Indeed,the core requirement is to find where master objects are used and to chart a strategyfor standardizing, harmonizing and consolidating them into a master repository orregistry. When the intention is to create an organizational asset that is not justanother data silo, it is imperative that your organization provide the means for boththe consolidation and integration of master data – and facilitate the most effective andappropriate sharing of that master data.
What is Master Data?
What are the characteristics of master data? So far, the industry has been better atdescribing master data but less adept at actually defining what master data is. As adescription, master data objects are those core business objects that are used in thedifferent applications across the organization, along with their associated metadata,attributes, definitions, roles, connections, and taxonomies. Master data objects arethose “things” that we care about – the things that are logged in our transactionsystems, measured and reported on in our reporting systems, and analyzed in ouranalytical systems. Common examples of master data include:
Contact mechanismsFor example, consider the following transaction: “David Loshin purchased seat 15B onflight 238 from BWI to SFO on July 20, 2006.” Some of the master data elements inthis example and their types are shown in Table 1.
Master Data Object
Table 1: Master data elements for a typical airline reservation.
Aside from the above description, master data objects share certain characteristics:
The real-world objects modeled within the environment as master data objectstend to be referenced in multiple business areas. For example, the concept of a “vendor” may exist in the finance application at the same time as in theprocurements application.