What is a Data Pool?
A data pool is a central repository of data where trading partners such as retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers can obtain, maintain, and exchange information about products. The end suppliers can upload their product information to data pools such as EDATA, LUCKINSlive and 2BA for their customers to access online.
Why are data pools needed?
The idea of a data pool is to store key attributes about a product in a standard classification format, such as ETIM or GS1, so that trading partners can easily access the same accurate, up to date information and synchronise their data.
The increasing popularity of webshops requires the provision of complete and accurate product information. Keeping this information up to date isn’t always straightforward, but not doing so can adversely affect conversion rates and sales, as well as increasing the number of product returns.
A data pool offers one central source of e-commerce-friendly, high-quality product data, where manufacturers can provide their product information in a uniform manner and wholesalers and retailers can extract the enriched and accurate data they need.
PIM systems and data pools
PIM systems and data pools go hand in hand. A PIM system offers a central place where all product data can be managed. By connecting the PIM with the organisation’s ERP and DAM systems, suppliers can hold transactional information and digital assets as well as data about the products themselves, all in one place. The Proplanet DAM is fully integrated in the Proplanet PIM, which ensures that your media files are always connected with the corresponding articles in your PIM.
The clean, up to date information held in the PIM can then be transferred seamlessly to the data pools in real time, through open-API integrations. This takes away the time, effort and risk of transferring the data manually and in different formats (Excel, PDF, text files etc). A PIM system therefore increases the efficacy and value of data pools, whilst reducing costs.
You can automate the process of drawing data from and supplying data to a data pool at your desired frequency. Using selection profiles, you can choose whether to collect all data each time, or just the product data that’s been changed. Our consultants are happy to help you design this process, so that the product information in your PIM is in sync with the information in the data pool(s).
In order to guarantee the quality of product information in the data pools, industry and purchasing organisations may require standard data classification systems to be used. For example, the EDATA data pool uses the ETIM classification, the most widely-used classification standard for the construction and installation industry in Europe.
Professional PIM providers such as Proplanet have the knowledge, experience and technology to help you classify and structure your data in line with a range of standards including ETIM, ETIM-MC, GS1 and UNSPSC. These classifications are all available within the Proplanet PIM.
ETIM is an international data standard that’s used in more than 20 countries. It’s used to classify, structure and describe technical products, especially those in the electrotechnical, HVAC and plumbing industries.
The ETIM-MC (Modelling Class) extension adds consistent 3D information on electrical and mechanical installations to the basic ETIM model. Construction companies using BIM can take the information provided by ETIM-MC and transfer it to CAD software
GS1 standards create a common foundation for businesses by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing key product data, including information about locations and assets. These include GTIN and EAN/UPC barcodes, 2D barcodes and the GPC cystem.
UNSPSC is a global classification structure that’s primarily used in the North American markets. It has its roots in merchandise management, providing the capability to assign standard codes to products and services.