US Passenger Airline

Learn how one of the world’s largest airlines undertook a major Reference Data Management initiative with Ataccama and enabled successful collaboration between IT and business users.

Business objective

The airline aimed to overcome their reliance on manually managed reference data and achieve automated, integrated business information with an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW).

A secondary goal was to relieve their IT department of the responsibility of managing reference data, and empower business users by allowing them to manage reference data directly through a user-friendly GUI.

Project requirements

  1. Build a single, consolidated hub for enterprise reference data with a maintenance and approval flow to simplify code maintenance support and ownership.
  2. Develop a simple to understand and easy-to-use GUI to reduce IT costs by shifting responsibility for reference data maintenance and updates to business users.
  3. Ensure a faster, cheaper response to changes and additions to reference data.

Initial data challenges

User-managed reference data: The airline originally operated with manually maintained reference data to drive company analytics, causing the following data issues:

Lack of a standard data change management process, and unsupported business rules/validations that led to faulty published data. There was no audit trail (no way to see who made or approved changes), no assigned permissions, and data ownership was often unclear.


Difficulty automating, particularly due to challenges implementing a security policy and difficulty for systems to access and consume necessary data. Additionally, not all systems were consistently informed of recent changes in real time, resulting in discrepancies.


Absence of a collaborative approval process that would also include email notifications.


Data stored in multiple places led to data duplication, inconsistency, and poor business analytics. There was no instituted process for agreeing on changes to reference data across the enterprise.

Reference data before

  • A data steward manually maintained flight range data via spreadsheet
  • Not formally versioned
  • Distributed via email to each stakeholder, who maintained their own record
  • Did not handle a merger with another airline

Reference data now

  • Easy to see who maintains the data and data change history
  • Bulk import/export possible
  • Authorized people review, approve, and publish data
  • Only verified, high-quality data is pushed to the EDW


Ataccama implemented a solution that is currently in production with 40+ entities. We developed a centralized reference data repository, enabled backpropagation to original source systems, improved data quality as a whole, and set up identity management access control.

Additionally, we redesigned the data system GUI to the benefit of data stewards, allowing them to automate and take over IT’s heavy burden of maintaining and updating reference data manually. We also added the ability to perform bulk import/export, maintain an entity en masse or one record at a time, and browse history to see all changes to the dataset.

Solution benefits

Business and IT are both satisfied


Standard maintenance process and workflow


Support auditing and data ‘versioning’


Improved data quality (business rules enforced before the data is published)


Reduced IT costs by developing a user-friendly GUI for Reference Data Management and shifting the responsibility of maintaining and updating reference data to business users


Faster response to changes and additions to reference data

UI designed with data stewards in mind


The simple, easy-to-use interface allows business users to directly manage their data without costly help from IT


Role-based UIs for review, approval, and publishing of changes


Bulk import/export support and the ability to view the state of data at any given point in time (historical snapshot)

Ataccama products used

  • Reference Data Manager (RDM) – a web app that keeps your reference data up to date, valid, consistent, and available throughout your organization. It provides the flexibility and workflow functionality needed to create an enterprise-wide Reference Data Management environment that is not only secure and powerful, but also easy to use.

Solution in production

Ataccama’s implementation is now in production with over 40 entities, including

  • Flight Range Codes
  • Flight Delays Codes
  • Cargo
  • Flight Crew
  • Operations Planning
  • Operations Research
  • Revenue Management
  • Sales
  • Tech Ops


Interested in an RDM solution?

Please get in touch to arrange a demo for yourself and your team. Ataccama’s RDM solution allows you to manage your reference data on demand or on premises. Learn more here.

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