DefinitionS from the experts
Master data is 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.
Philip Russom - TDWI
Master data is having “consistent definitions of business entities (e.g., customer or product) and data about them across multiple IT systems and possibly beyond the enterprise to partnering businesses.
A clear description of master data includes customer data items, like IDs. This data type is considered master data, versus quantitative data related to a single transaction, customer ID or other data (such as addresses and phone numbers), which are continuously used by a business to analyze customer behavior, establish contacts, or drive high-level research.