Not so long ago, data was just data. It was viewed as a homogenous resource within which nothing was differentiated in any way. But very gradually, the data management profession is accepting that there are different kinds of data with different properties, behaviors and management needs.

The most common distinction now drawn is between master data and event data, and I would add reference data to this mix. So how do these three major classes of data differ? Let us briefly survey them.

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