What is ISO 8000?

ISO 8000 is the international standard for the exchange of quality data and information. It defines quality data as “portable data that meets stated requirements”. The standard is concerned with how data is encoded and formatted so that it is explicit and can be used to reliably deliver quality information.

A good example of ISO 8000 is when you fill in a form. The form itself is the data requirement – it specifies what data is needed; some of the data will be mandatory and some will be optional. The data format such as length and valid characters can be stated (date format for example) or easier still the value may come from a pick list. If the data you enter conforms to the form, it meets the “stated requirements” so it would be ISO 8000 compliant.

The Purpose of ISO 8000

The purpose of ISO 8000 is to make it easier to contract for quality data and to identify companies and software applications that can deliver quality data. ISO 8000 quality data is “portable data that meets stated requirements.”

Portable data is data that can be separated from a software application. This is important because if the data can only be used or read using a specific licensed software application then the data is also subject to the terms of the license. What you think of as “your data” may not in reality belong to you and what you can do with the data may be restricted by the terms of the software license.

Asking your suppliers for ISO 8000 quality data is the best way to make sure the data you receive is what you need and can be easily integrated into your own software applications.

Making sure that any application you use to manage your master data is ISO 8000 compliant is the only way to make sure your data is portable and not locked into the application. When ISO 8000 data is exported from an application, it is exported in XML complete with all the data tags and code values, which preserves the meaning of the data. You can still buy and sell ISO 8000 quality data but it will not be linked to a software application.

Separating data from software is also very important when it comes to the long-term preservation of data. Data that meets stated requirements is a reference to the fact that you measure the quality of data by comparing data to a “stated” data requirement. ISO 22745-30 is the preferred standard for stating data requirements in XML as well as for exchanging portable data. ISO 22745 creates portable data by labelling the data using an ISO 22745 compliant Open Technical Dictionary such as the ECCMA Open Technical Dictionary (eOTD)


Benefits of Adopting ISO 8000

With the growing phenomenon of smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0 demanding a true digital supply chain, ISO 8000 will play an integral role in streamlining its adoption.

Data and information quality are now widely recognized problems in companies large and small, ranging from manufacturing and processing, to finance and health care. When developing e-commerce initiatives and strategies, most organizations today realize the benefits of open standards for content. These benefits include improved competition, interconnectivity and interoperability.

Incomplete or duplicate records, poor quality descriptions and inaccurate information cause inefficient allocation and use of resources. This can add up to a 20% increase to direct and indirect costs. Poor quality data is a barrier to effective marketing and the leading cause of transparency issues that drive up the cost of regulatory compliance.


Why should you or organization want to get involved in the ISO standards process? Learn more about the value of the ISO standards in the industrial sector in this booklet published in Sweden: Swedish_Tech_The_Golden_Standard_ENG.pdf (


1. What is the ISO 8000 standard?

ISO 8000 is the international standards for data quality. The purpose of ISO 8000 is to make it easier to tell the difference between those companies and software applications that can deliver ISO 8000 quality data and those that cannot. The strength and power in ISO 8000 lies in the opinion of what is, and what is not, quality data. This standard is based on international agreement; industry experts from around the world have agreed that there are characteristics of data that can be used to define and measure its quality. All these aspects are described in ISO 8000.

2. What is ISO 22745 and how does it relate to ISO 8000?

ISO 22745 is a standard for encoding data in XML using an open technical dictionary. This encoding makes the data portable and independent of any software application. Data portability is a fundamental principle of ISO 8000.

3. How do I achieve ISO 8000 data quality?

ISO 8000 data is portable data that meets stated requirement. Data portability means that the data can be read by any application without losing meaning without having to pay fees or royalties. This requires that the data is encoded using an open technical dictionary like the eOTD or that the dictionary that is used to encode the data is included in the data. “Meets stated requirements” means that there is a requirement statement that can be used to determine if all the data that is supposed to be there is there. Achieving ISO 8000 data quality requires that all the metadata (tags) and reference data (codes) are in a dictionary and there needs to be a specification of what data should be present.

4. Do I have to reveal proprietary information to be compliant?

No, it is your data, ISO 8000 simply requires that if you decide to provide data to someone, the meaning of the data is explicit.

5. How can I use my ISO 8000 compliance as a marketing tool?

Your customers will greatly appreciate the fact that you are able to provide them with quality data. Today the total cost of ownership of a product includes the cost of acquiring and storing the data needed to manage the product, making data an integral part of the product. Data quality is a great differentiator. A quality product should come with quality data.

6. How do I integrate my ISO 8000 compliant data into my ERP system?

One of the biggest costs of an ERP system is the cost of data acquisition and validation. ISO 8000 quality data is explicitly encoded data formatted in XML. Depending on the application it can be directly imported or easily converted into spreadsheet and imported.

7. How will ISO 8000 benefit me as a 1. Buyer, 2.Seller, 3. Service Provider?

1. As a buyer, asking your supplier to provide you with ISO 8000 quality product specifications will make it easy for you to create master data records for the products you buy. These specifications will make it easy for you to classify the products and create consistent names and descriptions which will avoid creating duplicate records.

2. As a Seller creating ISO 8000 quality product specifications will make it easier for you to publish your specifications and easier for your customers to find your products.

3. For service providers being ISO 8000 compliant identifies you as a provider of quality solutions and differentiates you from others that are not yet compliant.

8. We have thousands of technical specifications, and creating them afresh will be a huge task. Is there a tool to convert my existing specifications automatically?

If you have thousands of technical specifications you probably already have this data in a database or publishing application. An ISO 8000 technical specification is just another output format. If your application provider does not support the ISO 8000 output format yet, we can provide you with a tool that will convert a spreadsheet or database containing your specifications into the ISO 8000 format.

9. Other ISO standards involve regular complex audits to remain certified. What, if any, is the audit process for ISO 8000?

An ISO 8000 audit is a simple and straightforward process that only looks at the data: data is either ISO 8000 compliant or it is not. ECCMA provides certification that a data set is ISO 8000 compliant or that a company can provide ISO 8000 quality data. We ask for a sample of the data and this is what we use to provide the certificate. First, we look to confirm that it is portable data by checking the format and that the data is correctly encoded using an open technical dictionary. Then we compare the data against the data requirement specification to make sure all the data that is supposed to be there is in fact there. We typically recommend that a company claiming to provide ISO 8000 quality data obtain a certificate every year.

10. What will be the cost incurred to become ISO 8000 compliant?

All ISO standards allow you to “self-certify” you simply claim that you are compliant. However, asking someone else like ECCMA to certify you is helpful in establishing your reputation. As
claiming that data is ISO 8000 compliant is easy to verify, it is important to make sure your data is truly compliant if you claim it is ISO 8000 quality data.