July 15, 2016

IDEA Dictionary: Critical Attributes

When dealing with data, and all related terminology, you may feel like you’re trying to speak a foreign language. In the interest of keeping things clear and simple, we will introduce commonly-used terms in each newsletter that will help you navigate the data shorthand and learn the lingo. This week, we bring you: critical attributes.

IDEA’s management and Board of Directors mandated the population of 43 critical data fields in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). These 43 critical fields consist of 42 transactional fields and one set of attributes – values that describe product characteristics (e.g., color, voltage, tensile strength, etc.) that may be applied to a whole category of products.

While one product category may have an abundance of different attributes associated with it, some attributes are more useful for selling one product category than others – for instance, you cannot expect to sell a lightbulb if you cannot provide information about its size or voltage. To ensure that manufacturers are providing key pieces of descriptive information to distributors to help them conduct business, IDEA’s Industry Standards Committee (ISC) Product Information (PI) Subcommittee has worked to identify the critical attributes – the minimum set of product characteristics (attributes) needed by distributors to sell manufacturers’ products.

Critical attributes have been identified for most product categories, and can be found in the column titled “Critical Attributes” within the latest version of the Classification and Marketing Descriptor Model (CMD, formerly the Electrical Attribute Schema). Once implemented (date TBD), these critical attributes will need to be populated to retain compliant status within IDEA’s Data Certification Program.

We encourage all manufacturers to review the critical category attributes at this time and prepare for their implementation.

If you have any questions or concerns about the critical attributes, please contact your Data Management Specialist.

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