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Five reasons to master your product data

Chief Product Architect & Offering Manager, Persistent, an IBM Business Partner

Accurate product details and descriptions shape buyer and user behavior. These details – product size, weights, descriptions, reviews, certifications, etc – make the products findable to address shopper needs and allow for comparison. The need extends across industries, including both traditional products one could buy in a store, and less tangible products and services, such as credit cards, loans or cell phone plans that one could find in the financial services or communications industries. 

In all cases, organizations find that accurate product details – Product Information Management (PIM) – is an increasingly critical part of the data funnel. In a world with proliferating products that are changing constantly, PIM systems are foundational for keeping applications across the system synchronized with trusted data about products. It is key for the data to be accurate and accessible, at all times, across a variety of systems.

Many organizations still rely on a more manual process. They risk customer confusion and negative brand perception due to mis-management of the potentially hundreds of spreadsheets, thousands of columns, and millions on data cells that much be managed. Instead of manual updating, PIM solutions help automate this for easily accessible, correct, and up-to-date product data.

At IBM, we are excited to announce the release of IBM Product Master. Previously known as “IBM InfoSphere Master Data Management Collaborative Edition”, IBM Product Master is the same comprehensive PIM product, but with a new name to better reflect its core strengths and support the new features we are building to meet the needs of rapidly evolving data environments and systems. 

We believe there are five critical challenges that PIM can address to help you to master your product data.

  1. Establishing a single view - Having a complete view of products across your organization requires a single data repository – one that can be automatically updated and feed downstream applications instantly. PIM solutions makes the most recent product details and descriptions accessible to the different platforms that need the information – whether marketing, manufacturing, e-commerce, or sales – and it ensures they’re all relying on the same information. This means reducing costly errors and confusion that can slow business or to unhappy end users.
  2. Supporting agility - End users are looking for the most real-time data on products and services possible. As buyers become more sophisticated, expectations are that digital commerce platforms provide complete specs of a product. Information is changing constantly and core systems must keep up so the right decisions can be made.
  3. Improving productivity - Without automation, keeping track of product data is a manual effort taking up valuable time and resources. By bringing product data into one repository, and applying machine learning rules and capabilities to bring data the data efficiently into the repository, teams across an organization are able to rely on the best, most accurate data possible without having to jump through hoops to get all the details.
  4. Enabling data stewardship - Users want the data that is correct and relevant to them, and they want it fast. With a PIM solution, data stewards are able to remediate data issues, define and improve data processes and policies, perform data analytics etc. thereby enforcing data quality and compliance with business rules. This also provides role and attribute level security to help segment product data by business responsibility (such as logistics, finance, pricing, marketing, supplier) and control user actions (like view, edit, approve).
  5. Meeting compliance needs - The cost of compliance is soaring in many industries. Increased regulation (like EU 1169 for consumer goods) is forcing organizations to evolve beyond manual spreadsheets. Organizations need secure exchange of product information and a single source of the truth.

By addressing these challenges with product information management, ensure that your product data can quickly adapt to the business, allowing organizations to represent, organize and manage business objects and deliver trusted information to all systems.

Learn more about IBM Product Master.

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