How to Best Manage Your Product Data

Leigh Hamer Picture

by Leigh Hamer | Last Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Data is only as valuable as it is usable. Well-organized data is a brand’s most valuable asset and its biggest competitive advantage. 

Think about it this way: If you live in a tidy house where the ethos ‘a place for everything and everything in its place,’ is followed, finding what you need is quick and assured. You can complete tasks faster and more efficiently. However, if you live in a cluttered house where there is no organizational system, items are strewn about and easily lost. In this environment, simple tasks become team projects, each person hunting for correct information. Simple tasks are arduous and time-consuming. 

Creating a culture and system that values product data management means your team can move faster - get more done - and therefore gain an edge over your competitors.

When setting up a product data management system, it is important to consider the who and how. Who will be responsible for managing the product data? How will the integrity of product data be maintained?

The Who

To best manage your product data, you must have dedicated roles within your business that are accountable for the data management.

It is common for a product information manager and product manager to collaborate in maintaining product information for the business to use.

A product information manager is responsible for managing, well… product information within the organization’s tech stack. Increasingly, businesses have added a Product Experience Management (PXM) platform to their tech stack. PXM solutions are on the rise because, quite simply, they do what a product lifecycle management (PLM), inventory management solution, content management system (CMS), or enterprise resource planning (ERP) cannot. A PXM stores all product information - images, text, documents, specifications, and descriptions - in a single location and enables business users to create data-driven digital experiences using the stored information.

A PXM platform includes a Product Information Management (PIM) solution, which is where all product data is stored.

A product manager focuses on knowing the customer needs, as well as the business objectives that a product or feature will fulfill. This role leads cross-functional teams to develop campaigns and initiatives that drive the product’s success in the market. Often, this means the product manager is spearheading digital initiatives.

Together, these colleagues maintain product information for the business to use with confidence. The ability to display relevant product information at the right moment in the customer journey is completely dependent on how well product information has been architected and stored within a product information management system.

The How

Once you’ve identified who is responsible for managing the product data, you can consider how the business will maintain data integrity.

5 Tried and True Recommendations for Data Integrity

1. Get a PIM. Get a PIM. Get a PIM.

It’s that important it bares repeating. If your business doesn’t have a PIM solution in place, invest in one. Establishing a centralized repository for all product information is critical. Without it your team members assigned to manage the data will fail.

A PIM reduces discrepancies and ensures consistency across various channels.

2. Connect Digital Experiences to the PIM

Put your well-managed product data to work. By connecting your PIM to your website, landing pages, product information apps, digital product catalogs, and more, your brand can ensure only accurate product data is out in the wild. A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) does just that.

A DXP enables business users (read no coding skills required) to create websites, landing pages, microsites, and apps that pull product data directly from the PIM. This means when product data is updated in the PIM, those updates are immediately reflected in the connected digital experiences.

3. Establish Data Ownership

Product data is going to change. Updates are going to be required as new models are released or enhancements are made. Who within your organization has the authority to request those changes be made within your PIM? Defining data ownership and setting up an approval workflow helps maintain data integrity.

4. Demand Consistency

Your data architecture is built upon a thoughtful taxonomy. Edits and additions to that structure must build upon the existing framework. This is not to say your system must be so rigid it cannot adapt and evolve with your business (see #5 below). This is to say in order to maintain an efficient system for edits and updates, the business must implement standardized data entry processes and guidelines. 

Your team should define a set of consistent attributes and fields for each product category, such as SKU, description, price, dimensions, and features, for example. This ensures that all product data follows a uniform structure, making it easier to search, compare, and use in digital experiences.

Similarly, the data owners should conduct regular audits. Schedule routine checks to identify inconsistencies or outdated information. This ensures that your product data remains accurate and relevant over time.

5. Accept Feedback

Data should serve the business. Listen to the business.

Your PXM platform should scale with your business. As your product lines expand, your data management system should be able to accommodate new products and variations seamlessly. This should in turn influence the list of attributes required when adding a new product.

Encourage feedback from your team members who regularly interact with the product data system. They can provide insights into pain points, areas for improvement, and potential data discrepancies that might arise during real-world usage.

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.