System of record

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A system of record (SOR) or Source System of Record (SSoR) is Data Management term for an information storage system (commonly implemented on a computer system) that is the authoritative data source for a given data element or piece of information. The need to identify systems of record can become acute in organizations where management information systems have been built by taking output data from multiple source systems, re-processing this data, and then re-presenting the result for a new business use.

In these cases, multiple information systems may disagree about the same piece of information. These disagreements may stem from semantic differences, differences in the timing of the ETL extracts that create the data they report against, or may simply be the result of bugs.

Where the integrity of the data is vital, a data element must either be linked to, or extracted directly from its system of record. The integrity and validity of any data set is open to question when there is no traceable connection with a known System of Record.

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