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We have talked about what product data management (PDM) is. It’s an important business function that impacts almost every component of the value chain. From manufacturing the product to selling and improving it, all functions benefit from production data management. 

But since you can not make bread without flour, you need to collect the product data before you manage it. As the importance of product data collection is dawning on business leaders, they are showing more interest in the topic (see Figure 1).  

Source: Google trends

We have curated this article to Explore what product data collection is

Why is it important? 

The top 3 methods of collecting product data

And the pros and cons of each method 

What is product data collection?

Product data collection, or product data gathering, is a prerequisite of PDM. As the product/service goes through the different stages of its lifecycle, a significant amount of data is generated. This data includes:

Details on product specifications,

Material procurement information,

Product design details,

Price information,

Information regarding the selling channels, etc.

Product data collection is the process of gathering all this data from different parts of the value chain, cleaning it, and onboarding it into your enterprise platform. 

The process might sound simple but can become complicated when the company has diverse product lines and works with a supplier network, each generating its own data.

Why is it important?

Product data collection is different from AI data collection since the data is not gathered from an outside provider but is generated within the product’s supply chain. 

For instance, since many companies work with third-party vendors/suppliers, product data collection is required to gather data from those suppliers and store it in the company’s own platform. Therefore, product data collection allows access to data to all relevant departments in the supply chain. For instance, if the e-commerce management team requires product specification data from the manufacturers, they can easily access it from the central platform.

Top 3 methods of product data collection

Product data collection can either be outsourced/crowdsourced, done manually, or automated with software.

1. Outsource or Crowdsource

If investing in expensive software and tools is not feasible for you, then you can outsource or crowdsource product data collection. You can work with a third-party service that specializes in collecting and organizing product data. 

These services typically provide a database of product information that can be accessed by users, who can then add, edit, or delete entries as needed. They can also gather data from different parts of your supply chain, organize it and transfer it to your ERP system.

Pros of outsourcing or crowdsourcing

Cheaper than investing in expensive automation software

Allows transfer of the responsibility of extracting and organizing the data to a third party

Good for organizations with diverse product-lines

If you are working with a crowdsourcing service provider, then they can also offer product data transcription in multiple languages.

Cons of outsourcing or crowdsourcing

Data privacy can be an issue if the service provider does not follow data protection measures.

The quality of the work can be compromised if the service provider does not follow quality assurance measures.

2. Manual product data collection

Consequently, around 88% of those companies could not take action from their data insights automatically.

Pros of manual production data collection

Cheaper to implement and use

No extra skills or pre-training required

Cons of manual production data collection

Error-prone

Relatively more time consuming

Causes inefficiencies in the business

Difficult to access manually collected data by other departments.

Difficult to integrate into the company’s ERP platform 

3. Automated product data collection Product data collection software

Product data collection can be automated in a number of ways. One way is to use product data collection software, which can be programmed to automatically collect data from a variety of sources, including online stores, manufacturer websites, and other online sources.

Using RPA and OCR  Using Web-scraping

Additionally, you can use web scraping techniques to automatically collect product data from online sources. Web scraping involves using a software program to automatically extract data from websites. This can be done manually or by using an automated tool.

Pros of Automating production data collection

Eliminates human-errors

Takes less time than other methods

Improves overall business efficiency

Good for organizations with diverse product-lines

Cons of Automating production data collection

Expensive to implement automation solutions

Sometimes requires re/up-skilling the workforce

To learn more about data collection automation, check out this quick read.

For more in-depth knowledge on data collection, feel free to download our whitepaper:

You can also check our data-driven list of data collection/harvesting services to find the option that best suits your project needs.

Further reading

If you need help finding a vendor or have any questions, feel free to contact us:

References

Shehmir Javaid

Shehmir Javaid is an industry analyst at AIMultiple. He has a background in logistics and supply chain management research and loves learning about innovative technology and sustainability. He completed his MSc in logistics and operations management from Cardiff University UK and Bachelor’s in international business administration From Cardiff Metropolitan University UK.

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You're reading Product Data Collection In 2023: What It Is & Top 3 Methods

Data Clean Room: What It Is & Why It Matters In A Cookieless World

So how do we prove value in a world where the accuracy of our reports will be severely impacted by enhanced user privacy regulations?

These are the issues we’re already encountering with the inaccuracy of Facebook Ad tracking on iOS 14 devices.

Advertisers will still have access to and can make use of their own first-party data, but matching data across networks will prove much more difficult. It will rely on a deeper analysis in each platform rather than the cross-platform view enabled by third-party cookie tracking.

This is where the concept of data clean rooms comes in.

What is a Data Clean Room?

All data clean rooms have extremely strict privacy controls which do not allow businesses to view or pull any customer-level data.

For example, Google’s Ads Data Hub allows you to analyze paid media performance and upload your own first-party data to Google. This allows you to segment your own audiences, analyze reach and frequency and test different attribution models.

This is fine if a brand wants to increase spend within each platform, but still creates a challenge in cross-network attribution.

An Example: Google Ads Data Hub

Ads Data Hub is most effective when running multiple Google platforms, and if you have a substantial amount of first-party data to bring to the party (e.g. CRM data).

Ads Data Hub is essentially an API. It links two BigQuery projects – your own and Google’s.

The Google project stores log data you can’t get elsewhere because of GDPR rules.

The other project should store all of your marketing performance data (online and offline) from Google Analytics, CRM, or other offline sources.

Data Clean Room Challenges and Limitations

First-party data (the kind used to power data clean rooms) comes with fewer headaches around complying with privacy regulations and managing user consent.

But first-party data is also much harder to get than third-party cookie data.

Most data clean rooms today only work for a single platform (e.g., Google or Facebook) and cannot be combined with other data clean rooms.

Before marketers dive into a specific clean room platform, the first consideration should be how much of your ad spend is focused on each network.

For example, if the majority of digital spend is focused on Facebook or other non-Google platforms, then it’s probably not worth investing in exploring Google Ads Data Hub.

Alternatives to Data Clean Rooms

Data clean rooms are just one way of overcoming the challenges we face with the loss of third-party cookies, but there are other solutions.

Two other notable alternatives being discussed right now are:

Browser-based tracking.

Google claims its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) inside Chrome is 95% as effective as third-party cookies for ad targeting and measurement.

Essentially, this will hide users’ identities in large, anonymous groups, which many are skeptical about.

To be clear, FLoCs aren’t clean rooms – but they do anonymize user-level data and cluster audiences based on shared attributes.

Universal IDs.

What Will the Future Hold?

Tracking and reporting is no longer the background task that we used to take for granted, it now requires explicit user consent. This transition requires companies to ask users for their consent to give up their data more often.

Beyond the “walled gardens” such as Google, some companies are working to build omnichannel data clean rooms. No PII data is stored and only aggregated data is shared back to the business.

While this would certainly help with the challenge of cross-platform attribution, there will likely be a mismatch between the data provided between different ad platforms that will require manual interpretation.

This requires creating and trading value for deep data on your customers.

More Resources:

What Is Data Encryption In The Computer Network?

Encryption is a technique to hide data from unauthorized persons by encoding data not to be viewed and modified. Data encryption involves converting the data into encrypted data called cipher text using a mathematical formula called an algorithm.

These algorithms generate a key and then encapsulate the message with this key. There are two types of encryptions as asymmetric and symmetric, are in vogue.

The presentation layer deals with the translation, encryption/decryption, authentication and compression, which are explained below−

Translation

It changes the complex data structures used by an application string, integers, structures, etc., into a byte stream that may be transmitted across the network. The message is represented so that communicating machines agree to the format of the data being exchanged. For example, ASCII or EBCDIC character sets.

The translation may be direct or indirect. In the direct translation method, ASCII code is translated as the EBCDIC at the destination machine. In the indirect method, the ASCII code is first translated to a standard format at the source machine before transmission.

Encryption/Decryption

It deals with security and privacy issues. Encryption is used to scramble the data so that only authorized persons can unscramble the conversation data. Decryption reverses the encryption process to translate the message back into its original form.

The sender in the source machine uses an encryption algorithm and a key to transform the plaintext (original message) into a cipher text (encrypted message) to encrypt the data. At the destination machine, the reverse process takes place. The receiver has a key and decryption algorithm to translate back the ciphertext into the original plaintext.

There are two types of Encryption which are as follows−

Asymmetric Encryption

Two mathematically related keys, the name public key and private keys, are generated to encrypt and decrypt the message. Asymmetric encryption is considered more secure than symmetric encryption.

Asymmetric key encryption that involves a key pair as public and private keys involves six major steps−

Plaintext− Plaintext is the text message to which an algorithm is applied.

Encryption Algorithm− It provides mathematical operations to conduct substitutions and transformations to the plaintext.

Public and Private Keys− They constitute a pair of keys that are used for the encryption and decryption of the message.

Cipher text− Application of an algorithm on plaintext produces an encrypted or scrambled message.

Decryption Algorithm− This algorithm is applied to generate the cipher text and the matching key to have the plaintext.

Symmetric Encryption

Symmetric encryption, also referred to as conventional or single key Encryption, is based on a secret key, which both communicating parties share. The sending party encrypts the plain text to cipher text message using the secret key. The receiving party on receipt of the cipher text message uses the same secret key to decrypt it to plain text. Examples of symmetric encryption are the RSA algorithm.

Symmetric Notes encryption method has the following five major parts−

Plaintext− Plaintext is the text message to which an algorithm is applied.

Encryption Algorithm− It provides mathematical operations to conduct substitutions and transformations to the plaintext.

Secret Key− They constitute a part of the algorithm for the encryption and decryption of the message.

Cipher text− This is the encrypted message generated by applying the algorithm to the plaintext message using the secret key.

Decryption Algorithm− This encryption algorithm decrypts the cipher text into plain text by using the cipher text and the secret key.

Authentication

It checks the antecedents of the remote party being the real party rather than an impostor. It defines that the message is received from an authentic person, not from an impostor. A digital signature is one of the several authentication approaches that use the public key encryption method.

Data Compression

It compresses data to decrease the amount of transmitted information, thus saving in bandwidth and money. There are three general methods of data compression. Each method considers that the data stream may be transformed into a more compact representation. This compact data stream is reconstructed back into the original data at the destination machine.

What Is Icloud Data Recovery Service And How To Set It Up?

Losing access to your iCloud data is a nightmare scenario. Still, in iOS 15, Apple has added a new feature called iCloud Data Recovery Service, which can get (some) of your data back when the worst happens. It’s easy to set up on iOS or macOS, and if you take the time, you’ll be thanking yourself one day.

What Is the iCloud Data Recovery Service?

The iCloud Data Recovery Service is a feature of iCloud security that lets you regain access to your photos, notes, documents, device backups, and most other types of encrypted data.

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Note that there are limitations. First, it has to be data that’s been synced to the cloud. So if your device has been lost or damaged before syncing was possible, the data is unrecoverable.

Second, any data that uses end-to-end encryption can’t be recovered. The point of end-to-end encryption is to hide the data from everyone else, even Apple. Without your passcode (the decryption key), your Keychain, Messages, and health data are not recoverable. To access such data, you need a working device that’s logged into iCloud.

How the iCloud Data Recovery Service Works

The idea behind the iCloud Data Recovery Service is that you’ll nominate a trusted friend or family member to be your backup when you forget both your device passcode and Apple ID password.

Once you’ve nominated your “Account Recovery Contact.” This can be anyone who is over the age of 13, has their own Apple ID, and has an Apple device updated to the latest version of its operating system.

iCloud Recovery and iTunes Backup are Different

As of macOS Catalina, the iTunes application has been replaced by Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV. The iTunes app acted as the central hub where you would sync content to your iOS device and make backups to local storage.

iTunes still exists as a Windows app, and Windows users can use iTunes to make a local backup of their device. If you’re using Catalina or later, you can still make a local backup of your iOS device using your Mac, but that functionality is now in Finder.

Whichever local backup method you choose, this is different from iCloud Data Recovery as you have to manually make a local backup to your Mac or PC

Who Needs To Set Up the iCloud Data Recovery Service?

Unless you have absolutely no one you can trust, it’s probably best for every iCloud user to set up data recovery with a recovery contact. Even if you don’t feel like you need it personally, you may want to act as the recovery contact for someone else. If you have friends or family who are prone to forgetting their credentials, it’s a good idea to convince them to set it up. Remember that this isn’t something that you can activate after the fact.

The steps for activating the service are slightly different depending on the device you’re using. The steps outlined below are for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. 

Setting Up the iCloud Data Recovery Service on iOS

The following screenshots are from an iPhone 11 Pro running iOS 15, but should be similar to any iOS device on iOS 15 or later. To set up iOS Data Recovery on your iPhone, do the following:

Open the Settings app.

Select your name.

Select Password & Security.

Select Account Recovery.

On this screen, you can do several things. To set up iCloud Data Recovery, choose Add Recovery Contact and select a trusted person from your contacts.

Once you’ve completed the process, they’ll receive a message, which you can edit first, and if they accept, they can help you get your data back from your iCloud account on chúng tôi if your phone is lost, stolen, or you forget your password.

The other option is to create a recovery key, which makes it possible to recover your account and access your iCloud data without another person’s assistance. However, this option comes with some special considerations, covered later in this article.

Setting Up the iCloud Data Recovery Service on iPadOS

The steps to activate iCloud Data Recovery on an iPad are very similar to iOS. Here’s what you need to do:

Open the Settings app.

Select your name.

Select Password & Security.

Select Account Recovery.

Like the iPhone method above, you can now add a recovery contact you trust.

Don’t choose the recovery key option until you’ve read our important notes about it below.

Setting Up the iCloud Data Recovery Service on macOS

If you have a MacBook or Mac, the process is slightly different from iOS devices. The following screenshots were taken on an M1 MacBook Air running macOS Monterey. Here’s how to set up iCloud Data Recovery on macOS:

Select the Apple Icon at the top-left of the screen.

Select System Preferences.

Select Apple ID.

Select Password & Security.

Select Account Recovery.

Next to Account Recovery, select Manage

Under Recovery Assistance, select the “+” icon to add a recovery contact.

You can also add a recovery key here or enable or disable 2FA, but please read the next section before you do so.

Should You Use a Recovery Key?

If you choose to use a recovery key and lose it, it’s no longer possible to recover your account using the standard Apple account recovery process. It is a more secure way to secure your account since hackers can’t use your information to abuse the standard account recovery process. However, you’ll need your recovery key, a trusted phone number, and an Apple device running at least iOS11 or macOS High Sierra. Since a recovery key is so secure, you need to keep copies of it in a place you won’t lose access to but is also not accessible to unwanted persons.

It’s important to note that you should not set up the recovery key option at this time if you’re already using two-factor authentication (2FA). The recovery key and 2FA recovery method seem to interfere with each other. As mentioned above, using a recovery key blocks the standard recovery method enabled by 2FA. It’s better to pick just one of these two recovery options. If you don’t have elevated security needs, it’s better to stick with 2FA, which is more than enough for most users.

Don’t Just Use One Backup Solution

While it’s good to have a fallback access solution to your iCloud backups, it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. The good news is that you can easily backup your data to multiple cloud services. 

What Isand Is It Safe?

The Windows operating system is a sum of its parts. It works thanks to millions of lines of code, spread over hundreds of processes, services, applications, and drivers. When you power on your PC, those processes help to create the user interface you use to sign in, load your software, and more.

Unsecapp.exe is one of several Windows system processes that run in the background on your PC. It is a genuine system component, but with an unfamiliar name and purpose. You might be wondering what chúng tôi is, what it does, and whether it’s safe. Here’s everything you need to know.

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What Is chúng tôi and Is It Safe?

If you spot chúng tôi in your Windows Task Manager, don’t be alarmed. chúng tôi stands for Universal Sink to Receive Callbacks from Applications, and relates to a process that’s listed in Windows as Sink to receive asynchronous callbacks for WMI client application.

This is rather complex and technical, but it essentially means that the process plays a part in how Windows responds to requests and instructions from other software. WMI, or Windows Management Instrumentation, allows these services, devices, and drivers to work properly.

The sink (that’s what chúng tôi is) is the method that allows these applications to run tasks and instructions that Windows understands. You might, for instance, have an installed app or service that wants to notify you of something using the notifications area on the taskbar.

That’s why, when you see this service running in the Windows Task Manager, you shouldn’t be alarmed. While a malware infection can sometimes hide itself and pretend to be services like chúng tôi most users will find that the process running is the real chúng tôi file (and therefore safe to keep running).

How to Remove chúng tôi From Windows 10

You can’t remove the real chúng tôi from Windows 10. Like other important services that run in the background, such as chúng tôi you can’t stop chúng tôi from running, and the file itself can’t be deleted.

This is because it’s a critical system process that Windows needs to run. If you somehow managed to stop this process from running, Windows would soon stop working and crash, forcing you to reboot. Even worse, if you delete it, you may need to perform a full reinstall of your Windows 10 system.

While the real unsecapp.exe can’t be removed, fake versions of it can be. While rare, some users online have reported malware that pretends to be important system services like chúng tôi to hide in plain sight while damaging your PC.

If this happens, then free software exists to allow you to remove malware completely from your PC. If you don’t want to use a third-party option, then you can always use Windows Security (previously Windows Defender) to run a scan instead, or by using third-party antivirus software.

In the new Windows Security menu, select Virus & threat protection on the left, then select Scan options.

In the Scan options menu, select Microsoft Defender Offline scan, then select the Scan now button.

At this point, Windows will reboot your PC and scan your system files for potential malware. If an infection is detected, the problematic files should be quarantined or removed, but you may wish to look at third-party options to remove particularly stubborn malware infections.

How to Check If chúng tôi Is Real or Not

If you think that the chúng tôi process running on your Windows 10 PC isn’t real, you can check it first by using the Windows Task Manager to see if it’s located in your Windows system folder.

This will open the location of the chúng tôi process in Windows File Explorer. If the file is the legitimate chúng tôi Windows system process, then this will open the C:WindowsSystem32wbem folder, where other important Windows system files are located.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to look at trying to remove the malware using the steps outlined in the section above.

Can chúng tôi Cause High CPU, RAM or Other High System Resource Usage?

From time to time, the chúng tôi process is reported to use a high amount of your system resources. High CPU or RAM usage is uncommon, but due to the nature of what chúng tôi is and how it works, this is probably due to a third-party service or app interacting with it, rather than a system fault or error.

If a fault is likely, you may wish to use certain command line tools to scan your Windows installation for errors. Problems with chúng tôi could be due to missing files or a poor configuration, causing unnecessary system resource usage on your PC as a result.

The age of your PC might also be the problem. If your PC is a little older, you may need to think carefully about whether it can support the latest Windows 10 features and updates. If that’s the case, you may need to consider upgrading your PC to improve the situation.

Identifying Genuine Windows 10 System Processes

Like chúng tôi and others, chúng tôi is an important system process that can’t be disabled or removed. Without it, your system wouldn’t work correctly. If you’re still concerned that chúng tôi isn’t legitimate, you can always use Task Manager to trace the file location to see if it’s the right process.

What Is Modern Setup Host In Windows 10? Is It Safe?

When you notice lag or overheating on your computer, the first place you check is the Windows Task Manager to see the process slowing the computer down or causing the heating. If you open Task Manager and see a strange process running, you now have to decide whether to leave it or get rid of it.

You may be reading this post because you say Modern Setup Host or chúng tôi running in the background of your system. Before even thinking of removing this file or process from your system, read this article. Here, I’ll tell you what this process is and how to determine if it’s a virus or not.

What is Modern Setup Host on your computer?

Modern Setup Host or the chúng tôi file is a Windows operating system process that prepares your machine for updates and facilitates the system setup when you upgrade your operating system to a newer Windows 10 edition. It comes bundled in Windows 10 and runs in the background of your system when you install Windows Updates. This chúng tôi process can sometimes show high CPU or Memory usage.

You can find the chúng tôi file in the $Windows.~BT/Sources folder of your computer. It doesn’t interfere with the running of your machine, except when you install a Windows update. This is the only time Modern Setup Host should appear in Task Manager.

With Modern Setup Host missing from your machine, you wouldn’t be able to run Windows updates. Updates won’t also work if this file is buggy or corrupt.

Is Modern Setup Host safe?

You may see Modern Setup Host running in Task Manager and wonder what it is. Generally, this file isn’t a virus; hence, it’s harmless. However, malicious players often disguise their software as legitimate files or processes. So, the Modern Setup Host process you see may or may not be a virus. If you delete this file, you can get Windows update errors such as in the screenshot below.

Thankfully, you have ways to determine the authenticity of this file. Firstly, you are not to download the chúng tôi file from a third-party website because Windows installs it automatically while running updates. Files you obtain from these third-party websites are likely to be malicious.

Malicious versions of the chúng tôi file can lead to issues on your machine, of which the most common is high CPU usage. In the section that follows, I’ll show you some factors you can check to be sure that your copy of Modern Setup Host is safe.

How do I know if chúng tôi is safe or a virus? 1] Check the file’s location

Check the directory that opens up as the file’s location. If this folder is anything other than the $Windows.~BT/Sources folder, then there’s a chance that the file is not authentic.

2] Check the file’s copyright and signature

Modern Setup Host is developed and distributed by Microsoft. Therefore, another way of verifying the legitimacy of the file on your system is to confirm that it carries the Microsoft signature.

After confirming the Copyright information, switch to the Digital Signatures tab at the top. The Name of signer column in the Signature list should show Microsoft Windows to verify that the file is

3] Check when it runs

Modern Setup Host concerns itself with Windows updates only. When not installing updates, the process should never run. This in itself is another pointer to tell if the file is malicious or not.

First, confirm that no update, press the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC key combination on your keyboard to open Task Manager. If you see the chúng tôi process running when you’re not installing a Windows update, it’s probably a virus, and it has to go.

To prevent viruses from infecting your computer and causing damage, you need reliable antivirus software.

Related read: Modern Setup Host has stopped working.

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