The Ultimate Guide to Reference Data Management


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Businesses are always seeking ways to increase revenue, cut costs, and improve workflows. Data management strategies are becoming more streamlined by implementing a master data management (MDM) strategy that results in a single, consistent view of business data. Instead of valuable information being left in a data warehouse, MDM provides data integration to simplify reporting and business intelligence and aid in decision-making.

Businesses commonly overlook the importance of reference data management (RDM) within the world of data management. Commonly referred to as a reference code or code tables, it’s important to leverage the value of reference data using a strategic approach to hierarchy management. Managing this type of data across a large enterprise is complicated without a strategic approach.

Why is reference data important?

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An effective reference data management solution simplifies data integration, management, and distribution of reference data. Machine learning and artificial intelligence automate RDM, which empowers business users to manage the lifecycle of reference data sets.

Reference data management is the process of managing classifications and hierarchies by performing analytics on reference data, tracking changes, and distributing reference data. RDM is an essential component in Master Data Management that provides the processes and technologies to recognize, harmonize, and share coded datasets for multiple systems and master data domains.

An effective reference data management tool provides centralized control to ensure data consistency and data governance compliance. Data management software helps teams access, share, and update reference data across multiple systems according to business processes. Businesses should use RDM crafted by an industry leader such as TIBCO to scale up operations and analytics, as well as react to new data requirements without the need to restructure the data model. Reference data management ensures every version of reference data is consistent and accurate to ensure data quality.

Empower Business Users

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Business users and data stewards can share valuable insights from reference data. A user-friendly reference data management tool empowers business users to define reference data models, manage data, and govern ownership. Data management tools help manage the lifecycle of reference data sets and allow business users to use data at any time.

Simplify Compliance and Reduce Risk

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Data governance is a key component of data management. Small businesses and large enterprises alike spend a lot of time on internal and external compliance reporting. Internal reports provide valuable insights that help make bottom-line decisions. External reports for regulatory compliance are costly and don’t help improve an organization’s bottom line. A strategic approach to reference data management is key for accurate data interchange, publishing, and entitlements. RDM tools aid accurate internal and external reporting while eliminating risk.

Remove Operational Overhead and Reduce Costs

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It’s not uncommon for businesses to have overlapping tasks across business functions. RDM automates the consumption of data from a single source, which eliminates the need to manually reconcile data from different sources across each function. Removing redundancies improves the data quality and helps minimize costs. Leveraging reference data management allows businesses to unify all of their data processes into a unified strategy that’s accessible across business functions. This helps simplify and reduce workloads, which results in improved workflows across the board.

There are several use cases across a range of industries for reference data management. Financial services companies use RDM to centralize reference data codes such as country codes and location data. Financial services companies can streamline the value chain, efficiently manage risk, improve customer loyalty, and support corporate governance by managing reference data.

Healthcare organizations manage a broad range of information while providing services to patients, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. Healthcare organizations utilize industry-standard codes, provider specialties, diagnosis descriptions, and medical terms. Standardizing complex reference data with RDM results in high-quality patient services and accurate billing and payment processing.

Effectively managing reference data results in accurate and consistent data quality that simplifies reporting processes and provides valuable insights and business intelligence.