February 9, 2015

IDEA Dictionary: What is Data?

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: data.

As “data” is a term frequently used in multiple different contexts, we thought it would be easiest to first outline all the things that data used in eBusiness IS NOT. At IDEA, when we talk about your data, we’re not referring to just a series of zeroes and ones, nor are we talking about your monthly phone plan. It’s not the same as Big Data, used for behavioral analytics, and it’s definitely not the character from Star Trek.

The data within eBusiness and the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW) IS each piece of information surrounding tangible products that are made, shipped, and sold by manufacturers and distributors in the electrical industry. This information, or data, instructs the behavior of buyers and sellers throughout the channel and can be transactional or descriptive in nature, from the color of a certain receptacle, to a light bulb’s catalog description, to the minimum order quantity of control cable. 

Sometimes, the concept of data can seem impersonal, like something that your IT staff should handle. In reality, accurate and rich product data is becoming more and more important to company-wide operations. While it has always been true that accurate product information leads to ordering, shipping, estimating, and product management efficiencies, product data is now also important to sales and marketing teams. Online brand awareness and sales have increasingly become larger chunks of company marketing efforts. In order to stand out from the competition, the product data used needs to be complete and high quality. 

The type of data in the IDW is not an impersonal component of your business; rather, it is just the opposite. It is this same data that helps customers quickly and easily find products they are looking for. Reliable and robust product data creates trust between seller and end user – and if that’s not personal, we don’t know what is. 

If you have any questions regarding the meaning of “data,” or any other IDW terms, please contact your Data Management Specialist. Requests for future definitions can be sent to communications@idea4industry.com.

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