December 13, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Throughout 2016, we at IDEA have made significant progress in our industry, from an increased focus on programmatic excellence in the Data Certification Program to launching developments of our next-generation IDW and IDX platforms. Join us as we look at some 2016 highlights!

Industry Involvement

With our roots in the electrical industry, we regularly take steps to further advancement in this industry, including the following:

  • IDEA Announces Manufacturer Quality Achievements in Data Certification Program: The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) today announces Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) manufacturer quality achievements within IDEA’s Data Certification Program. More than fifty manufacturer accounts have attained programmatic quality (“excellence”) for at least 95% of their items in the IDW.
  • ETIM: Last year, IDEA became the first non-European member of ETIM International, the international standardization organization responsible for managing the European Technical Information Model (ETIM) standard. The year IDEA formed the ETIM Committee – a team of industry subject matter experts who will volunteer their time to help create a North American adaptation of the ETIM model to our nomenclature in accordance with our NA requirements, and then develop a map between the European and North American product data standards. Check out the ETIM North America website for more information.
  • IDEA Announces NAED’s Endorsement of the IDW as Preferred Source of Manufacturer Information: NAED joins National Electrical Manufacturers Association in public support of the IDW; IDEA addresses NAED distributor needs and challenges with commitment to data quality and accessibility.
  • Next-Gen IDW User Group: IDEA has gathered a group of individuals who currently use the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) to participate in the new Next-Gen IDW User Group. The group will serve as a forum to collect insights about current user challenges, functionality requests, and user priorities to help guide the deployment and ongoing enhancement of the next-generation IDW platform.
  • Grew our IDW distributor base to more than 8,200 distributor locations, nearly doubling the number of distributor locations using the IDW to power their business systems, catalogs, and web stores.


Platform Upgrades

This year, as part of IDEA’s goal to take your input to heart and continuously improve our applications, we:

  • Announced Strategic Alliance with Stibo Systems: The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) announces its strategic alliance with Stibo Systems, the global leader of multidomain Master Data Management (MDM) solutions. IDEA has selected Stibo Systems’ MDM solution STEP Trailblazer to power the next-generation Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). The platform will be used to standardize and manage manufacturer product data, and will be implemented and managed by IDEA.
  • Announced Strategic Alliance with Liaison Technologies: The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) announces its strategic alliance with Liaison Technologies, an industry-recognized leader in cloud-based integration and data management offerings. IDEA has selected Liaison’s Exchange Network platform to power the next-generation Industry Data Exchange (IDX). The platform will be used to facilitate electronic data interchange (EDI) and other business-to-business (B2B) integration activities.

Stay tuned for more developments throughout 2017!


We loved connecting with you at industry events across the country (and Canada!) this year, including:

  • IDEA’s eBiz Forum 2016: Amidst three days full of educational sessions, IDEA Expert meetings, and live exhibitor demos, some highlights from the 2016 eBiz Forum included keynote speakers, Porter Gale and Gary Schwartz, and the Future of the Industry Panel, making the 2016 eBiz Forum one of our best yet!

Plus, we announced that we are teaming up with NAED to co-host a joint technology event in August of 2017!

  • IDEA and NAED Announce Joint Technology Event:The Industry Data Exchange Association, Inc. (IDEA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) announced that we will be co-hosting a joint technology event in 2017. IDEA’s eBiz Forum and NAED’s Technology Conference will merge and will run concurrently with NAED’s AdVenture Marketing Conference August 2-4, 2017 at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago. The goal of this joint event is to foster collaboration and communication between industry IT and marketing professionals. Keep an eye our for registration information!

In the meantime, check out IDEA’s upcoming event schedule for 2017, and follow us on the road!

What’s New at IDEA?

New Employees: This year, we welcomed new members to the IDEA team to bring in more expertise and help us better respond to our evolving industry.

Series Highlights

IDEA Tip of the Week

  • Review Critical Attributes: We encourage all manufacturers to review the critical attributes at this time and prepare for their implementation.
  • IDW Document Library: Our Data Management Specialist team has created a set of resources available in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) to help manufacturers achieve programmatic excellence.

SEO Series: This four-part series takes on various aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how significant it is to building a web presence.

EDI Expert: IDEA’s B2B EDI Solutions Manager Tom Guzik explores the ins and outs of EDI by answering questions about various aspects of EDI implementation, integration, and maintenance.

IDX Platform Technology Upgrade: To help answer your questions about IDEA’s Industry Data Exchange (IDX) migration, we brought IDEA’s B2B EDI Solutions Manager, Tom Guzik, into our IDX Migration Series as he guides IDX customers through what to expect.

  • The Migration: This article discusses why IDEA decided to upgrade the IDX platform, the benefits of the new platform, and the changes users can expect.
  • Preparing for Success: This article discusses what is involved in a successful migration, the replacement for the IDX Tracker tool, how long the migration process will take, and individual roles and responsibilities.

IDEA Dictionary

  • EDI Transaction Sets: In the EDI language, a single business document, such as an invoice or a purchase order, is called a “transaction set”.
  • Taxonomies: A  classification scheme, used to organize individual items. In other words, taxonomy is categorization.