In my last blog, I talked about how Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA) created an Open Technical dictionary based on the federal catalog system. This technical ontology can be used to describe items that you make, or that you buy. The question now becomes—why do should we care.  What do I get out of data standardization?

Apparently the answer is—a lot.

Data standardization has been shown to:

  1. Increase sales in online catalogs by preventing returns because inadequate description make searching for items difficult.
  2. Lower the overall cost of customer service by reducing customer complaints and questions.
  3. Prevent incorrect forecasts and even packaging and transportation costs. You have to know the accurate size and weight of an item to know how to ship it properly.
  4. Greatly enhance spend analysis and support financial reporting requirements.
  5. Reduction in speed to market for new items.

The Data Warehouse Institute states “Poor data quality is costing US businesses more than $600 billion annually.”

A variety of issues such as legacy systems, poor accountability, measurement inconsistencies, and human error can cause poor data management. Companies need to develop data management plans that establish data strategies for data governance based on completeness, consistency, conformity and duplication. These plans will identify and correct potential risk areas.

Often it is hard to convince upper management that data standardization should be a priority within a company. By matching the data quality plan to the business metrics and strategic goals of your company or industry, you can gain support to carry out this important internal business function.

If you would like to know more about the ECCMA eOTD and how it can help you with data standardization, check them out at