Introduction to the 5 Laws of Product Data

October 9, 2013

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor











PpcWe’ve posted prior blogs outlining the most common marketplaces
mistakes that sellers make. However, there is one area of e-commerce that is
riddled with potholes and generally causes sellers to stumble: data management,
or more specifically, the way that sellers approach the management of their
data. So, let us pose the question:

What
is your data strategy?
 

For many sellers data is just a means to an end – an area you have
to dedicate time to when getting your products live on a channel so you can start
making sales.

For online businesses, data is the foundation of your success. We
all know the basics of construction and how important the foundations are to a
building. It creates stability for the rest of the structure, allowing the
building to be strong and solid. The quality and design of the foundation can
put limits on what the building can do [i.e. expansion strategy] and it must be
sound when weathered by time [i.e. competition].

What
type of foundation does your data management strategy provide?

This is the first in a series of blogs dedicated to helping you
build a proper foundation of data to allow your company to maximise its success in the future. We’ll cover several key topics
in the series, and today, we’ll set the scene by focusing on the how you should
measure data success. After today’s overview, we’ll spend the rest of the
series delving into specific details for each Law so you can identify:

  • Whether you are effectively managing your
    data
  • How you further apply some data rules to your
    business
  • How these can help you set your business
    apart from the crowd

How
do you measure data success?

You can skip straight to the bottom line and use your sales
performance as a measure, but that is a lagging indicator. What leading
indicators
should you be looking at to help you know you are hitting the
mark on data?  We’d like to introduce you
to the 5 Laws of Product Data that
should command how your business creates and manages data. To keep these laws
memorable, they use the apropos acronym for the 5 Laws: ASSET.


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 09.55.56Law 1 – Your data should be AVAILABLE.
If your data is not accessible
to you to be used for your current and future needs, then its value is
diminished. Consider where you store your data and in what format, and identify
if it robust enough to support your needs. For example, is it restricted to the channels and platforms in which it is currently
located, leaving gaps and unknown values?


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 09.56.01Law 2 – Your
data should be SUSTAINABLE.
  The
system you use to create data should be manageable and maintainable and the
data should be structured in a way that is flexible to meet your ongoing
business needs.


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 09.56.10Law 3 – Your
data should SHOWCASE your products.
It’s a
competitive world and you need to be your product catalogueueueue’s best salesperson.

 


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 09.56.19Law 4 – Your
data should be EXCELLENT.
Populating data points is not enough; you
need to create quality information to be truly effective. Consider what
outcomes and data points you require to make actionable conclusions.

 


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 09.56.25Law 5 – Your
data should be THOROUGH.
You must have 100% of the data needed to
accomplish your business objectives and requirements. Does your data include
all of the information required to list across the channels you operate on
today or are you missing values? Could you improve visibility by optimising
your data quality? If you plan to expand to new channels in the future, is your
data capable of supporting this or will there be gaps?

Successfully abiding by these 5 Laws of Product Data should allow
your data to be an ASSET and contributing factor to your business’s success.
Flouting and ignoring these Laws could limit the success you can achieve and
how easily you can achieve it.

Hopefully, you aren’t far off the benchmark, but if you are, it’s
important to keep this in mind for the rest of the series as you create or
expand your data strategy. Stick with us on the journey and invest in your
business’s data foundation!

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Blog post by Rynhardt Hanekom, International Manager, Customer Success and Rachel Miller, Manager, Customer Success Team.