Pump Up Your Data

SEMA News—May 2018

Pump Up Your Data 

By Craig Schmutzler

January has long since come and gone, and a good number of resolutions with it. One of the more popular resolutions (and a quick one to fall) is improved health and fitness. A colleague of mine, who is a self-professed gym rat, provided me with an interesting comparison of gyms to services like those offered by the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC).

Everyone inherently understands the value of good health and how a gym can provide immense personal benefits. We might say the same thing about product data. Manufacturers seem to understand that good product data is an important part of their marketing strategies and that a strong and clear presentation of product information will likely lead to broader distribution and greater sales.

The “what” is understood. The “how” sometimes creates barriers as manufacturers resolve to research and implement the steps required to properly present their product data. As with gym memberships, there are three areas that may stall a manufacturer’s desire to improve its product presentations.


A gym membership is not free. While it is easy to see the benefit, the perceived value of the gym may not bear out the added expense. In many cases, folks will opt to work out at home and figure out how to replicate some of the equipment at the gym. Home gyms often cost quite a bit more up front and in many cases still fail to provide some of the needed options that are found in commercial gyms.

Product data services come at a cost. The reason is that companies have invested considerable time and resources into processes, infrastructure and people to provide expert assistance in this much-needed area. Savvy manufacturers understand the benefits of using experienced professionals to expedite the production and publication of their product data.

Overwhelming Options

There are dozens of machines and other pieces of equipment in a gym, with innumerable ways to achieve the same goal. Dumbbells, cables, straps, hydraulics, bungees and bodyweight exercises may all work the same muscle group in different ways. A gym tour may be overwhelming and, as potential clients become confused by how to get started, end up as a deterrent to membership.

The same can be said about product information. There are plenty of ways to describe and represent products, and it can be challenging for companies to figure out the best method. A professional data services provider can help companies navigate through these decisions and partner with manufacturers to develop an industry-accepted standardized presentation for use by all their data receivers.

Slow Results

This one is frustrating for anyone who makes a commitment, joins a gym and takes the time to work out regularly. It could be that the equipment is not being used properly, the routine may not be designed well or an early injury prohibits proper form. In any of these cases, the frustration may lead to giving up on the effort.

A reputable data services provider, much like a personal trainer, will guide manufacturers through the steps necessary to get their product data in order. Companies need side-by-side instruction along with a good selection of tools to monitor and manage both the quantity and quality of their product information.

The SDC would like to serve as your company’s personal data trainer. We offer experienced professionals who will work with you to produce the best possible version of your product presentation. We offer a strong selection of tools that will give you the gains in product data content you seek. If you need help pumping up your data, contact us. We stand ready to assist. 

To learn more about how you can take control of your product data and manage it at the lowest possible cost, contact SEMA Data Co-op Director of Membership Jim Graven at jimg@semadatacoop.org or 888-958-6698 x4.

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