Documenting Master Data

Written by Kristian Helgesen on Nov 18th, 2015

Managing Master Data becomes increasingly important with the more systems your organization operates. Multiple systems managing the same data entities without synchronization will leave you with outdated information and poor user experience for both your employees and your customers.


With Ardoq you can document data ownership and usage, and plan your “To Be” architecture.


To document Master Data in Ardoq, we recommend on of two approaches; simple and fast using tags, or a more thorough method using a separate workspace and model.

Documenting Master Data using tags

This is the fastest way to register ownership and usage of Master Data. Systems owning data enitites are tagged with the entity name, and systems using data entities are registered by tagging the references to the owning system. Tags are a good approach when master data ownership is not the primary focus of the workspace, but helpful extra information.

The primary way to gain oversight using tags, is by using the Tagscape view. Here you can select the tags used for the master data entities, and all components and relations with common tags are grouped. You can also utilize the tags to filter other views such as the component tree and table view.

Application ServicesThis method can be limiting if your workspaces are large or if you want to capture copies of master data or other specific aspects. For this reason we recommend using the more thorough method of documenting Master Data in a seperate workspace.

Model based Master Data documentation

We recommend using a dedicated workspace to model your Master Data in Ardoq. Below is a simple example with Customer and Product entities. The Customer entity specifies billing and delivery addresses explicitly since they are owned by different systems. I’m making this a bit more complex than the most basic example to illustrate how this looks in Ardoq.

Model based Master Data documentation

Simple example of Master Data structure documented in Ardoq

When modeling Master Data in a separate workspace, you refer from the master data workspace into the workspaces documenting the actual systems owning and using the data.

This gives a nice separation of concerns, where the Master Data workspace is only used to describe one thing, and uses a pre-defined model with standardized reference types. References going out of this workspace are governed by the workspace model. For this example, the relations going from the Master Data workspace specify wether a system owns, uses, updates or stores a copy of master data. By referencing from the Master Data workspace you are able to keep your other documentation “cleaner” and to the point.

Relationship types from Master Data model

Relationship types from Master Data model

Visualizing Master Data ownership and usage

The best view to get an overview of the master data is the Dependency Map, with the toggle button to color the boxes according to the references into them.


The “Color by reference” toggle is important to visualize the information provided by the reference types in the Master Data Model (ownership, usage, etc.)!



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