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Definition

reference data

Reference data, in the context of data management, are the data objects relevant to transactions, consisting of sets of values, statuses or classification schema. An example would be order statuses and their related codes, such as “canceled” and its related code, “CN,” required for reference purposes in an online order system.

Reference data is generally uniform, company-wide, and can be either created within a country or by external standardization bodies. Some types of reference data, such as currencies and currency codes, are always standardized. Others, such as the positions of employees within an organization, are less standardized. 

As a part of transactional records, reference data are grouped with associated master data and transactional data.

This was last updated in July 2013

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