August 29, 2007

IDW2 Data Quality Maintenance Training

The IDEA IDW2 Data Administration group rolled out a new training program to help manufacturers provide cleaner data, more frequent updates and faster turnarounds in loading new pricing updates and promoting data synchronization between trading partners.

All manufacturers benefit from this training even though the initial focus is on manufacturers that are currently providing their pricing and product IDW2 updates via flat file instead of EDI. The IDW2 provides the best and most effective mechanism to get product information to the channel. However, many manufacturers may not have full understanding on how to populate their own data into the IDW2. Considering how often product and price information may change at a manufacturer, it is very important that they have a better understanding on how to control the release of their updated product and pricing information into the IDW2.

Following the three session Data Quality Maintenance training courses, manufacturers will be better prepared to submit their own data updates to the IDW2. For those who have completed the IDEA Data Audit Certification program, the new training provides the best practices for maintaining high quality data. Since good data quality requires attention and follow-up, IDEA recommends scheduled data reviews by each manufacturers’ data team. The five manufacturers’ that have already completed the training are: Bridgeport Fittings, Federal Signal, General Cable Corporation, Hubbell Corporation and Philips Lighting.

The training focuses on the importance of “building the base” for getting your IDW2 data completely updated, identifying your current IDW2 counts, ensuring required fields are populated and that all items have the correct life-cycle codes. Once this base is established, then the file is used as the starting point for future updates. Understanding the purpose and use of IDW2 life-cycles, developed by the IDEA Standards Committee, is covered in the first training session and is necessary for accurate data management. Distributor ERP software relies on accurate and consistent transmission of these codes to help distributors maintain their own data and keep inventory costs down.

Good quality cannot be achieved without a thorough understanding of the IDEA Product Description Data fields (PDD). Data fields must be consistently populated by all manufacturers for delivery via IDW2 outbound mapping to the distributors. The second session includes in-depth training of 103 of the EZView/PIPE’s fields since this format is frequently used for flat file. The EZView/PIPE format is a subset format containing all of the required and most popular fields found in IDEA’s robust PDD file format. Manufacturers planning to submit their own data are taught all of the tips and tricks in converting their own data files into IDW2 loads.

In the third session, manufacturers learn about using the IDW2’s Test System and measuring their data improvements against the IDW2’s stringent data scrubbing engine. Instructions are provided on troubleshooting data error and recommendations are provided on error avoidance. Beth Badrakhan, IDW2 Data Manager, customizes training by using the manufacturers’ own data, requirements and issues.

With the goal of more frequent updates and faster turnarounds, IDEA is revolutionizing data delivery in the electrical industry. Data training is available upon request to

Beth Badrakhan at 703-562-4602.

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