Six months after the launch of IDEA’s Data Certification
Program, nearly 40% of the items in the Industry Data Warehouse
(IDW) are fully attributed and populated with essential product
data. The number of these complete—or “compliant”—items in
the IDW has grown from just 16,000 in early February to more
than 850,000 today, and manufacturers continue to raise this count
every day. But this growth has not happened overnight.
IDEA is working to make the IDW the
electrical industry’s single source of
complete and accurate manufacturer-
supplied product and pricing infor-
mation. Distributors have said they
need this type of data to sell their man-
ufacturers’ products. IDEA, however,
faced a challenge when trying to ident-
ify which of the more than 150 possible
IDW data fields manufacturers should
focus on populating to best meet dis-
tributors’ business needs.
To address this challenge, IDEA’s
board of directors spent months work-
ing with distributors to designate the 43
most essential IDW fields, deemed the
“critical fields.” From there, the Data
Certification Program was developed to
measure the quantity and quality of the
transactional and descriptive informa-
tion in those fields.
With the launch of the Data Certi-
fication Program, IDEA needed to be
able to support manufacturers as they
worked to populate the critical fields for
their product lines. This effort was not
without its challenges.
For example, manufacturers that had
been using automated feeds to load
data into the IDW needed to update
those feeds to accommodate the criti-
cal fields. In addition, there was an ini-
tial misperception, or even fear, of the
critical fields among manufacturers.
Not all understood the impact that
the attributes and product information
within these fields would have on their
distributors’ businesses and, ultimately,
their own sales. As such, some put this
project on the back burner, while others
were simply afraid they would not be
able to meet the requirements being
asked of them.
IDEA’s Data Management Special-
ist (DMS) team stepped up to help ad-
dress these concerns. The DMS team
provided manufacturers with actionable
reports based on their compliance, ex-
plained how to use new processes and
data-loading templates, and took time
to clarify misconceptions about how to
populate certain fields.
As manufacturers started to get a
better grasp on the critical fields, how-
ever, IDEA noticed changes in their
approach to the initiative at hand.
Manufacturers began to realize that
The challenges, successes, and forward motion of
IDEA’s Data Certification Program. by Misty Byers
IN AN EFFORT TO HELP READERS BETTER UNDERSTAND THE IDW AND WHERE IT IS HEADING, tED USES THIS SPACE EACH MONTH TO
ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT IDEA’S PLANS GOING FORWARD. GOT A QUESTION FOR IDEA? SEND IT TO MBYERS@NAED.ORG.