A taxonomy is a general term for classification scheme. The purpose of
a taxonomy is to group like things together into categories, usually
based on a set of common, category-specific characteristics, or
In the context of master data management, a taxonomy is what makes it
possible to quickly locate a few specific records – or categories – in a
database of thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of records.
A taxonomy is usually hierarchical, meaning that some categories are
subcategories of other categories. (In the MDM system, taxonomy
tables are always hierarchical.) Most people are familiar, for example,
with at least part of the hierarchical taxonomy used to classify animals,
such as vertebrates mammals primates chimpanzees, and so
on. Another example that you might experience in your daily life is
groceries beverages carbonated decaffeinated. Each level of
the hierarchy gets narrower in terms of what it includes.
MDM uses a hierarchical taxonomy of categories to structure master
data in an MDM repository. A hierarchical taxonomy is typically
represented as a “tree,” as shown in Figure 2.