What is master data?

According to The DAMA Guide to the Data Management Body of Knowledge, master data represents "data about the business entities that provide context for business transactions."

Gartner defines master data as "the consistent and uniform set of identifiers and extended attributes that describes the core entities of the enterprise including customers, prospects, citizens, suppliers, sites, hierarchies and chart of accounts."

Next generation Master Data Management (MDM), ensures that master data is updated and available in real-time across multiple systems in the business.