Stewardship first

Reference data classifies other data. It is used to ensure consistent reporting and direct business rules and processes. Reference data has key strategic business value, and needs to be governed as such. A controlled approach to handling flat code lists, hierarchical reference data, or mappings between various versions and variations avoids broken business processes and costly integration challenges.

Reference data is not an IT challenge. The major challenge is to involve the right people in the process of ensuring high quality reference data that has been reviewed and approved, before it is put in production.

Reference data is a data stewardship problem.


Reference Data Management

Reference data is ubiquitous throughout your operational environment (i.e. databases, applications, ETL, scripts, ...). Their purpose is to classify data so that you can treat your Silver Customers well and Gold Customers even better. Reference data has key strategic business value, and needs to be governed as such.

Many types of reference data exist, and you need to treat each type differently: the way you update to the latest batch of ISO Country Codes will be significantly different from the way you handle internally created product codes.

Collibra's Reference Data Accelerator leverages the functions of the Data Governance Center and builds on top of the Business Semantics Glossary to provide a targeted, efficient and business friendly solution for reference data management.



Onboard Reference Data sets (e.g., ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 Country Codes) and relate these to business terms, data elements, business rules or any other asset in Collibra’s Data Governance Center. Further enhance Reference Data with relevant metadata (e.g., Political Level of a Country Code, description, exceptions, …) and relationships (i.e. Country is composed out of States).


Manage an infinite number of hierarchical levels and reference data dimensions that address your most complex needs.


Different types of reference data require different types of mapping. Map code values and assets one-to-one (i.e. US = USA) one-to-many (United States = US; United States = USA) and many-to-many (i.e. crosswalks like ISIC rev. 4 to NAICS 2012).


Multiple teams will collaboratively work on reference data sets. Easily manage roles, responsibilities, workflows and releases to keep track.


Validate hierarchies, relationships, naming conventions and report on anomalies.


Publish active code lists to people in the organization (i.e. for reuse) and to systems for operational use (i.e. MDM Hub) via snapshots with effective dating.

"We tried a homegrown solution on Sharepoint, but it was not adopted. It was too static and difficult to search content. Collibra's platform made it easy for people to find the right information around assets, and formalized the processes."

Reference Data and Business Semantics at the Flemish Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation

The Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation is, amongst others, tasked with funding scientists and their research projects through multiple specialized institutions. Monitoring how the different institutions allocate the resources …...

Read the full story

Data Governance for MDM and SAP at Barry Callebaut

Barry-Callebaut operates on a single SAP instance globally and deals with the data migration process of, on average, five newly acquired plants each year. The key in supporting this process …...

Read the full story

Get started right away

with the Data Governance Center Cloud Edition.

Learn more about our cloud offer

Looking for a solution that is tailored to your specific needs?
Contact us for a proposal.