March 19, 2015

IDEA Dictionary: What is an IGCC?

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: IDEA Granular Category Code (IGCC).

The IDEA Granular Category Code (IGCC) is an electrical industry-specific four-digit code, created as a more granular supplement to the existing UNSPSC taxonomy. 

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is an eight-digit product code from the UNSPSC global product code set. The UNSPSC taxonomy, or classification system, allows for the categorization of products in multiple industries and is made up of four increasingly granular levels of categorization that companies can assign to a product.  

Because the UNSPSC casts a wide net across several industries, IDEA created a supplemental fifth level to a portion of the UNSPSC taxonomy, identifying it with the IGCC, which is specific to the electrical industry and allows for more granular identification of certain product categories. With the release of Electrical Attribute Schema v4.0 in 2013, IDEA assigned a randomized IGCC to all product categories in the Schema.

In some cases, this fifth level of product categorization is also aligned with other categorization systems, such as the European Technical Information Model (ETIM), allowing for more consistency throughout the industry.

Both an item’s UNSPSC number at the primary (fourth level), and its correlating IGCC number, are required when loading an item into the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW). For the convenience of IDW users, these IGCCs have already been prepopulated for the primary level UNSPSCs assigned to SKUs in the IDW code. At this point, manufacturers are not required to load the fifth level (IGCC) for their items, where a more granular level exists in Schema 4.0, but that may change in the near future.   Not all UNSPSC categories can go more granular, but some can, and more will be identified over time.

An item’s taxonomy allows for smoother business transactions across the channel.  Distributors use this categorization to create web store hierarchies, which helps with search engine efficiency and to increase visibility of manufacturers’ products online. This information is also used as a way to effectively organize product information in business systems and warehouses and facilitates spend analysis and reporting.

If you have any questions regarding the meaning of “IGCC,” or any other IDW terms, please contact your Data Management Specialist. Requests for future definitions can be sent to