1-Day Seminar and Workshop

A Practical Guide to Managing and Governing Reference Data
How to set up an Enterprise RDM Program

Click here for an in-house quote request or for further information regarding in-house training.


Reference Data Management (RDM) is rapidly emerging as a major component of data management.  Enterprises have realized that reference data is vital to turn base data into business information, and for making sense of the wider world.  They have also understood that reference data represents a large scale semantic resource whose neglect causes problems.  As a response to this, enterprises are looking for ways to effectively govern and manage their reference data resource.

This seminar provides a roadmap for the best practice for RDM which is to set up a central unit that runs a federated governance and management program.  The central unit is responsible for establishing policies, processes and standards for RDM in the enterprise, and assigning accountabilities.  It also oversees how RDM tools are configured and used across the enterprise, and makes sure that Reference Data is synchronized across applications. 

The seminar explains in detail the structure, governance processes, and management techniques needed for effective RDM, and how these are allocated among the central unit, operational teams, data stewards, and SME’s.  The difference between reference data sourced from outside the enterprise (external reference data) and reference data produced entirely within the enterprise (internal reference data) is particularly highlighted, since these two type of reference data have distinct governance and management needs. 

The overall goal of the seminar is to enable an enterprise to quickly set up a reference data management unit to effectively meet its RDM needs. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what reference data is, to correctly focus work efforts.
  • Understand the scope of the policies, processes, and standards needed for RDM.
  • Understand how to set up a central RDM unit.
  • Understand the core set of governance tasks for a central RDM unit.
  • Understand the core set of management tasks for reference data that need to addressed by the enterprise as a whole.

Seminar & Workshop Outline

  • Understanding Reference Data
    • What Reference Data is and how it differs to other kinds of data
    • The special characteristics of Reference Data
    • Why Reference Data matters to the business
    • The unique governance and management needs of Reference Data

  • What a Reference Data Management Unit Is
    • The charter for a Reference Data Management Unit
    • The structure of a Reference Data Management Unit
    • The federated governance and management approach to RDM
    • The governance responsibilities of the Reference Data Management Unit
    • The management responsibilities of the Reference Data Management Unit
  • Governing and Managing External Reference Data
    • Source discovery of External Reference Data
    • Source Profiling (for both external authority and datasets)
    • Managing semantics of External Reference Data
    • Onboarding of External Reference Data
    • Subscription Management

  • Governing and Managing Internal Reference Data
    • Assigning accountabilities for Internal Reference Data
    • Controlling the semantics for Internal Reference Data
    • Separating production from distribution
    • Change Management of

  • Operational Governance and Management
    • Setting Reference Data standards
    • Controlling changes in operational environments
    • Options for distribution of Reference Data
    • Dealing with Crosswalks
    • Periodic reconciliation across enterprise applications
  • Achieving Quality in Reference Data
    • Typical quality issues in Reference Data tables
    • Typical quality issues in usage of Reference Data
    • How to create high-quality descriptions and definitions for Reference Data
    • Working with Data Quality projects and programs


Business and IT staff who have to work with Reference Data and in areas such as:

  • Operations
  • Analytics
  • Data Governance
  • Data and Information Architecture
  • Master Data Management
  • Data Quality
  • Systems Development

This seminar will also be helpful to individuals who have management or executive responsibility for the above areas. 

Speaker Biography

Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm has over 25 years of experience in data management, and has worked in a variety of sectors, including finance, insurance, manufacturing, government, defense and intelligence, pharmaceuticals, and retail.   He is an independent consultant specializing in data governance, master/reference data management, metadata engineering, business rules management/execution, data architecture and design, and the organization of Enterprise Information Management.  His mission is to help enterprises solve difficult problems with data management and governance.  Malcolm is a well-known presenter at conferences in the US and Europe, writes columns in trade journals, and has authored the books: Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases; How to Build a Business Rules Engine; and Definitions in Information Management.  In 2011, Malcolm was presented with the prestigious DAMA International Professional Achievement Award for contributions to Master Data Management.  He holds an M.A. from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol.

In-House Training
If you require a quote for running this course in-house, please contact us with the following details:

  • Subject matter and/or speaker required
  • Estimated number of delegates
  • Location (town, country)
  • Number of days required (if different from the public course)
  • Preferred date

Please contact:
Jeanette Hall
E-mail: jeanette.hall@irmuk.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8866 8366
Fax: +44 (0) 2036 277202