ISO 8000 FAQs

What is ISO 8000?
ISO 8000 is the international data quality standard. ISO 8000 provides a framework for improving data quality that can be used independently or in conjunction with quality management systems.

ISO 8000 is intended for use by organizations that have multiple systems that share master data and/or that share and exchange data with other organizations and therefore need to manage the quality of their master data. Like most standards it is published in a number of parts.

What aspects of data quality does ISO 8000 cover?
ISO 8000 is being developed as a series of parts:

  • The ISO 8000 “60 series” covers the framework and process assessment model;
  • The ISO 8000 “100 series” covers the quality and exchange of master data and associated identifiers.
  • ISO 8000-150 has conformance clauses that cover both elements

Data is a product of business and manufacturing processes, and must be managed as a product, not a by-product. As such, the same general principles of quality management as specified in ISO 9001 apply to data quality management. However, there are unique quality management considerations that must be applied to data as a product, since it is intangible.

Within an organization, master data is used to identify and describe things that are significant to the organization.

Examples of master data include:

  • vendor master: This typically describes a vendor in term of its location and legal status. Much of the mandatory data in a vendor master is prescribed by law as it is a common requirement for a company to be able to identify all entities to which it has transferred funds.
  • customer master: This typically describes a customer in terms of a trading entity. At a minimum it will include the contact information necessary to transmit invoices and may contain confidential information such as credit card information.
  • item or material master: These masters typically describe tangible items that are tracked, inventoried or regularly purchased. While they are often restricted to items purchased under contract such as production materials they can also be used to improve the quality of spend analysis associated with maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) purchases. Material masters are also commonly used to support bills of materials (BOM) or to in design where they may be referred to as common parts catalogue or a preferred part list. A variation of the material master is an illustrated parts catalogue (IPC) or a spare parts list.
  • item of supply concept: These masters include a reference to an item or material master, plus packaging and quantity information;
  • service, procedure or process master: These masters are still relatively rare except in the health care and vehicle repair industries where automated billing for services or insurance reimbursement is common. Typically a service is best described as a procedure or a process.
  • asset master: These masters are commonly used to track items whose purchase price is over a preset monetary value, or whose cost is depreciated over several years. Assets are commonly associated with a unique identifier (serial number) and often associated with movable items where date (time occasionally) and location need to be verified and reported. Correct modelling of an asset master is important to be able to track not only the location and value of the asset over time but also the maintenance and repair activity. A typical problem with asset management is changing specifications over the asset’s life span. Deciding at what stage an asset has been so modified as to require the creation of a newly described asset is often a challenging issue.
  • location master: Other than delivery services it is rare to see a separate location master, yet separating out the location master from customer and vendor masters typically leads to improved data quality. The data model for a location master is basically simple as in theory it describes a physical location where global positioning coordinates provide the absolute reference. In practice there may need to include other delivery instructions such as a postal address.
  • point of contact, employee or human resource (HR) master: These masters typically describe an individual. Commonly they include information related to the relationship with the employing organization but these are better treated as transaction data as opposed to master data. They often contain confidential information.
Why exchange master data with your customers using ISO 8000?

The advantage of ISO 8000 is that master data conforming to this standard is computer interpretable, portable between systems, and exchangeable in multiple languages without loss of meaning.  This form of digital data exchange, covered by ISO 8000-110, is the answer to the interoperability barriers facing the standards for smart cities, and the interoperability framework for public administrations.

What types of organizations are adopting ISO 8000?
The single biggest example of exchanging spare parts data using ISO 8000-110 is NATO. NATO is an international alliance that consists of 28 member states, and is able to exchange spare parts data in the native language of all member states.

There are current discussions, in both national and global oil and gas companies, to introduce this standard as part of engineering and procurement (EPC) contracts.  A new standard for oil and gas interoperability (ISO 18101) is due to be published early in 2019, and ISO 8000 is an essential part of the standard, ensuring the management of data quality through the life-cycle of assets.

On the international stage, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a G20 country, is currently adopting ISO 8000 as the standard for their national industrial information centre. Adoption of this standard also covers the description of all industrial items that are to be imported into this country, and the descriptions of the items produced in the Kingdom. If you export to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this will become standard practice for your customs submission as Vision 2030 rolls out.

The government of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) is using the ISO 8000 “60 series” to manage data quality for their national open data program.

Other states are now looking to adopt the ISO 8000 standard for the description of goods for import and export, as items described using this standard can be automatically mapped to customs tariff codes to ensure that the correct level of duty is paid, and accurate trade statistics can be collated and analysed.

I am a manufacturer: who is going to ask me to supply ISO 8000 compliant specifications?
A number of leading global companies are now adopting ISO 8000, and as a manufacturer you will increasingly be asked by end-users to validate the data they have in their system, either directly as part of a data cleansing exercise or as a clause contained in a purchase order.  

One of the key features of the KOIOS community, is that you only have to create the specification in this standard once, and then you can control who, and what elements of the specification, you share the data with.

What contract wording will require us to produce specifications to ISO 8000?

Example clause to include quality data as part of the supply of an item, equipment, or service.

The contractor, sub-contractor or supplier shall, as and when requested to do so, supply technical data in electronic format on any of the items covered in this contract as follows:

  • The data shall be encoded using concept identifiers from an ISO 22745 compliant open technical dictionary that supports free resolution to concept definitions.
  • The data shall comply with the specified ISO 22745-30 compliant data requirements.
  • The data shall be provided in ISO 22745-40 compliant Extensible Markup Language (XML)
  • The data shall be ISO 8000-110 compliant
  • All identifiers must be ISO 8000-115 compliant
Do we have to create a new set of data to produce ISO 8000 compliant specifications?
No, the technical data you currently have that currently sits in your product information system, or you use to populate your website, or is written in product PDF documentation, can all be used as the source of your ISO 8000 compliant technical specification.
Does this mean competitor manufacturers must standardise terminology?
No, in this context, a standard technical specification means a technical specification to ISO 8000-110. The methodology employed is the foundation for how items can be described in multiple languages without loss of meaning. This also allows manufacturers to use terms that are familiar internally and to their existing clients, but also allows for the mapping of those terms to established definitions from the standards that the manufacturer produces their product to as in the example below:

Who owns the data?
ISO 8000 asserts that the owner of the data is the person who manufactured the product, not the reseller of the product, nor the end-user of the product. That is why KOIOS Master Data is helping manufacturers to create the data that populates a federated community.