A golden record is a single, well-defined version of all the data entities in an organizational ecosystem. In this context, a golden record is sometimes called the "single version of the truth," where "truth" is understood to mean the reference to which data users can turn when they want to ensure that they have the correct version of a piece of information. The golden record encompasses all the data in every system of record (SOR) within a particular organization.
An SOR is an information storage and retrieval system (ISRS) that serves as the authoritative source for a particular data element in a system containing multiple sources of the same element. To ensure data integrity, a single SOR must always exist for each and every data element.
According to Cogmento, a major cloud computing resource vendor, a well-maintained, current golden record should be a fundamental element of the Master Data Management (MDM) policy for every enterprise.
The word "golden" is sometimes used in IT to express the importance of some type of source. In the context of virtualization, for example, a golden image is a template for a virtual machine (VM), virtual desktop, servers, or hard disk drive (HDD).