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Maryna Postrelko
Written by
Maryna Tarasenko
Head of Marketing at Gepard
data governance product data product information management

Product Data Governance Framework For B2B eCommerce

7 min read
Published: February 11, 2022
Updated: December 7, 2022

Product data governance is a crucial process for any business that wants to succeed and grow in today’s digital age. Having checks and balances for the product information for an item you are selling on any given marketplace is more important than it might seem.

Imagine that you are shopping online for a portable baby car seat that can be fitted on a stroller’s frame. Besides the safety and comfort features, you will also focus on the weight of the chair when looking at the description section. The lighter the chair, the easier it is to transport it. Just a few hundred grams can make a big difference for someone who recently had a child.

Now imagine you found that perfect baby car seat and the weight is 3.95 kg (8.7 pounds) —that works just fine for you. To compare prices you look for the same product on other marketplaces and notice that on one site the weight is 4.65 kg (10 pounds), and on another, it’s 3.25 kg (7.2 pounds). By now as a consumer, you have lost trust in the brand since the company can’t keep something as basic as product information consistent throughout the platforms.

With the right data governance components in place, this scenario would never occur.

What Is Data Governance?

Data governance entails all of the internal procedures and standards a business sets for data collection—processing, distribution and disposal. Above all, data governance best practices should guarantee secure storage, privacy where needed, availability for consumers in a structured manner, and of course accurate information across all channels it is located on.

What Is a Data Governance Framework?

In essence, data governance frameworks represent a set of guidelines that help any company to establish and implement the way it controls information. For example, using the relevant data governance solutions, sellers of consumer products can set up triggers that will automatically pick up on a component from a data set that is loaded invalidly across multiple platforms.

The absence of a structured system frequently happens when content providers push manufacturers’ product descriptions to third-party retailers, but the very same manufacturer is not able to see what went live and if the information is authentic and correct. The manufacturer also lacks access to analytics. This is precisely why keeping track of efficient and well-organized product syndication via a PIM system often becomes a vital point in data governance for the majority of brands and manufacturers.

Data Governance vs. Data Management

Often many people are confused as to what data governance is versus data management. It’s important to differentiate and understand what data governance and management are. When it comes to describing data management, DAMA, a community of experts in the field, defines it as “the processes used to plan, specify, enable, create, acquire, maintain, use, archive, retrieve, control, and purge data.”

Whereas data governance is only one element of the overall process of data management. Nevertheless, a crucial part of data governance deals with overseeing procedures that an organization has set in order to have the quality and security of the data it possesses and operates with.

Data Governance Framework

Every business that deals with extensive amounts of eCommerce data needs to be able to view the whole picture of product data governance. To achieve that, the best course of action is utilizing a data governance framework that can help with such operations as collection, management, distribution and storage.

Such a framework consists of seven basic steps that lead organizations to an agile data governance implementation:

1. Goal setting and comprehending the benefits.

2. Analyzing the present status and performing traditional delta analysis.

3. Laying out a a roadmap based on the findings.

4. Reassuring the course of action with all involved parties and laying out a budget.

5. Initiating and organizing the data governance program.

6. Executing the program step by step.

7. Observing, checking the progress and quality of the program and adjusting where needed.

Naturally, each organization can and should have its own custom data governance framework. It should ideally work best for the manufacturer or a brand and meet the objectives that lead to the relevant outcome.

How To Implement Data Governance?

Data Governance Benefits

The global data governance market had a value of $2.1 billion in 2020 and is continuing to grow as more and more organizations see the significant benefits of it. Especially important for companies emerging from non-invasive data governance are:

  • Standardizing the approach to working with data across the organization

Any company can benefit from the systematic process that a framework offers. Standardizing data governance increases efficiency and decreases the amount of time needed to handle information throughout digital platforms.

  • Gaining more transparency in data governance and management

When a clear protocol is implemented in the way an organization works with data, it provides an easy workflow. On top of that, accurately following the guidelines that are set for data management results in the transparency of information to the relevant people in a company and still follows security measures.

  • Easy auditing when needed

Auditing can be both a costly and daunting task for many businesses. Once again, if clear guidelines are followed, this will provide an opportunity for auditing to be an uncomplicated task that is done with the help of a few simple commands in a spreadsheet.

  • Transparency even with a multi-tenant approach

Last but not least, even if your information is distributed across multiple platforms, it is still transparent if all of the points of a pre-established framework are followed.

What Are The Benefits Of Data Governance?

Product Data Governance Strategy For Brands And Manufacturers

For eCommerce businesses, establishing a product data governance strategy is a crucial aspect as it has a direct effect on brand reputation and revenue. When it comes to working with product data, the important part is to list out the key elements. Once that is done, they need to be treated as strategic resources.

Product Data Governance Strategy For Brands And Manufacturers

For eCommerce businesses, establishing a product data governance strategy is a crucial aspect as it has a direct effect on brand reputation and revenue. When it comes to working with product data, the important part is to list out the key elements. Once that is done, they need to be treated as strategic resources.

Some of the key points to take away when coming up with a strategy are:

1. Ease of use for all stakeholders

Make sure that business users (everyone except developers who are hands-on with the product data) can utilize the product data easily. Avoid over-restricting data access.

2. Transparent product data lifecycle

When product data is moving through the stages of its entire lifecycle, transparency is a key component to the best outcome. From the initial stages of determining attributes for a particular item that will be manufactured and sold, to creating the description listing and distributing it on third-party platforms, everyone who is involved in the process should have clear communication in place that guarantees transparency.

3. Pre-validation & assets adaptation

To ensure high quality of product descriptions, it’s important to review the information listed. Removing outdated details and updating new ones will provide an accurate product feed that in return boosts your customers’ confidence in the buying decision.

4. Controlled delivery & coverage monitoring

The last step is the actual delivery process that requires accurate formatting for each endpoint the information is being uploaded to. Once all of the descriptions are successfully distributed throughout the external sales channels, it’s important to double-check them. Review if there are any errors in the descriptions, confirm that the correct product pictures were chosen and make sure that all of the intended products were listed.

What Are The Elements Of Data Governance Strategy?

Product Data Governance FAQ

1. Organizations are turning to data governance for which of the following reasons?

It primarily breaks down any existing departmental barriers, establishes clear policies and aids the data stewardship efforts of a business. Additionally, it helps with data organization by connecting with those concepts. Overall, it enables access to appropriate data and extracts maximum value from it.

2. Who can provide a product data governance framework?

Businesses that value data and understand that it’s a corporate vital resource often have data handling roles within the company:

Data Trustee – sets the policies and guidelines on how other employees in a corporation can have access to data.

Data Steward – is considered an “owner” of the data, in the sense that he or she is responsible for the quality of the content and is also partially responsible for data security.

Data Custodian – the responsibility of this role comes into play when data is being distributed, transported from one storage to another. Additionally, a custodian is in charge of the technical environment and the structure of databases.

3. Where to start if I want to create a product data governance framework for my company?

Defining the aim of a framework is one of the most crucial stages. You’ll need people to help you reach your objectives after you’ve set them.

The next stage is to develop a model that your team can use as a guide. The final stage in building a framework is deciding how each type of data will be distributed.

Gepard’s Role In Product Data Governance

Today having product data governance in place is an absolute must for brands of all sizes and for manufacturers. It simply helps maximize efficiency, perform analytical reviews, set benchmarks and monitor rich content.

The highly customizable tools that Gepard offers can help your business govern product data efficiently. This is even more relevant if you are manufacturing a large number of products and need to syndicate all of their data to multiple sales channels. Furthermore, Gepard enables businesses to not only syndicate data to other platforms but to control and handle product content accurately with the highest industry standards.

Reach out to us if you need to set up the right automation procedures that will help your business grow.

How To Manage Product Data?

Maryna Postrelko
Written by Maryna Tarasenko
Head of Marketing at Gepard
A passionate professional with solid expertise in Content Marketing, External Communications, Email Marketing, and Social Media. Head of Marketing at Gepard, the product information management & syndication platform, helping to centralize diverse product data and deliver complying content to sales channels.

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