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Blog: DATAFirst: Making a Clean Sweep

By Bridget McCrea

Since September, Frost Supply of Maryland Heights, Mo., has been working with DATAgility, developer of data quality scorecarding program DATAFirst, to clean up its catalogue data and upgrade its corporate website. In this series of tED Magazine articles we’re following Frost Supply through the process of improving its data quality and its e-commerce presence. Here’s an update on where the project stands, accomplishments so far, and where things are headed over the next month.

Pulling all of the Pieces Together
According to Nick Arb, Frost’s marketing manager, the distributor has already put a lot of man-hours into getting its product data ready for publication in the firm’s new website. As part of that process, the company has obtained quality product images (when available), classified products using the appropriate categories, and taken other steps to clean up its existing data.

Frost Supply also met with two DATAgility representatives who “stopped by and sat down to discuss important points with us,” says Arb, “including what makes a good e-commerce presence, how our business operates online and offline, and the role that DATAgility is playing in our project.” The group also discussed the need for good, reliable product data, taxonomy, and schema, and the value of having all of a distributor’s products categorized correctly.

As part of the company’s commitment to clean up its data and create a user-friendly website, Frost Supply has also submitted data to one manufacturer (Cooper Bussmann) for review to see how that data matches up with the manufacturer’s own information. “We want to know where its information isn’t aligned with ours,” says Arb, who is currently waiting for results of that analysis.

When the results come back from Cooper Bussmann, Frost Supply will drill down and figure out what specific data areas need attention. This will help the distributor make smart decisions and changes across its entire catalogue. Concurrently, the firm is working with a web developer to establish a beta site in anticipation of an early-2014 rollout of its new web presence.

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