Master data is data that remains unchanged over a long period of time. Master data contains information that is needed again and again in the same way. Characteristics can bear master data in BI. Master data can be attributes, texts, or hierarchies.
If characteristics have attributes, texts, or hierarchies, they are referred to as characteristics that bear master data.
The master data of a cost center contains the name, the person responsible, the relevant hierarchy area, and so on.
The master data of a supplier contains the supplier's name, address, and bank details.
The master data of a user in the SAP system contains his/her access authorizations to the system, standard printer, start transaction, and so on.
When you create a characteristic InfoObject, it is possible to assign attributes, texts, hierarchies, or a combination of this master data to the characteristic. If a characteristic bears master data, you can edit it in the BI system in master data maintenance.
More information: Creating InfoObjects: Characteristics
You can flag a characteristic as an InfoProvider if it has attributes and/or texts. The characteristic is then available as an InfoProvider for analysis and reporting purposes.
More information: InfoObject as InfoProvider