Primary or Secondary (?)

I guess I don’t understand how a data source be marked as primary or secondary, and who decides which is which.

I will illustrate my question with the following scenario in an area where I have some understanding: identifying billing verification (BV) discrepancies. Sometimes best practice is to model the tariff as defined at the physical contract with the end customer, and model the tariff as defined in the billing system, and model the tariff as defined on the website of the operator, and model the tariff as filed with the legal department and more… Now we can take these variants and conduct a parallel run and see if there are any discrepancies between the various dialects of what should be single version tariff spec.

How would you mark each version? Which is prime and which is secondary? IMHO for proper BV you want to model all, regardless. The end result of this exercise should be a single tariff definition company wide.

David Leshem
David Leshem
David is an expert in enterprise solutions: billing, profitability, business intelligence, customer retention, churn and revenue assurance.

Away from the office, David is a keen photographer. Visit to sample his photographic work.

1 Comment on "Primary or Secondary (?)"

  1. Hi David,

    I prefer to use “master record” to refer to the primary version. This master record is the first system in the process where the reference data is captured and maintained. This becomes the reference point for all other systems using that reference data.

    I don’t believe there are rules as to which system it should be. What is important is that the operator acknowledges this system as the master record and do all aligning activities to that source. The owner of this reference data must have access to this system to maintain it or delegate authority to have it updated on their behalf.

    Experience from the last operator I worked at, the master record for rates was the product catalogue which was an MS Word document containing all approved rates (we have a Communications Authority which must approve all operator rates). This was our bible and all systems had to conform to that.

    Bear in mind difference is the way the data is displayed in each system. The website will contain the rate vat inclusive but the billing system will contain the vat exclusive value.

    Ownership of reference data often results in this confusion of which source is the master.


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