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Master Data Management

Master Data Management is the practice of creating a single, authoritative source for a datum or a stream of data. An example would be the price of a camera. As the camera is released, it appears in the manufacturer’s catalog, which is syndicated to all retailers. They see the price and can order products. If the manufacturer wants to change the price, it just updates the single price field in its catalog-management software and the price updates immediately in all systems around the world.

is the practice of creating a single, authoritative source for a datum or a stream of data. An example would be the price of a camera. As the camera is released, it appears in the manufacturer’s catalog, which is syndicated to all retailers. They see the price and can order products. If the manufacturer wants to change the price, it just updates the single price field in its catalog-management software and the price updates immediately in all systems around the world.

Master data applies to much more than prices. In principle, every piece of meaningful information should have an authoritative source and syndicate out, live, from the source, so that if/when the information changes, all systems update accordingly. This applies to everything from sales tax rates to sports scores to census data to flight schedules and much more.

Transitional

GS1, the consortium behind the bar code and RFID, has a program called GDSN – the Global Data Synchronization Network. It lets manufacturers synchronize prices. It’s not fully semantic, because the formats haven’t been adopted by everyone and they charge a royalty, but it’s an impressive start and will likely form the basis of what is to come in price syndication.

Fully Semantic

Here are some of the companies and groups helping build this future:

External Links

Wikipedia – master data management

Related Terms