GDSN Attributes 101: A Quick Count

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There are 1,100 GS1/GDSN standard product attributes.  But don’t quote me on this.  That’s because the count is approximate, and growing.  More importantly, the 1,100 calculation requires several scoping and definitional qualifiers.

A GS1/GDSN standard product attribute can be defined as a product item attribute that has been “approved” and “modeled.”  “Approved” means the attribute has been approved by industry through the GS1 Global Standards Management Process (GSMP).  “Modeled” means that the GS1 Global Office  has developed the formatting structure, data type and defined valid values, if applicable, for the attribute.  Some attributes have been approved, but not yet modeled or published in the GS1 Global Data Dictionary.

Product “item” attributes are not the same as “Party” or “Price” attributes.  Nor are they the same as GPC Brick attributes, which are all about classification and taxonomy.  Right now there are approximately 3,500 GPC Bricks and 1,800 Brick Attributes (many Bricks do not have any attributes – yet).

Extended attributes are those attributes that are retailer/recipient specific, and are not “standard,” but can be carried through GDSN through something called an Attribute Value Pair, or AVP.  There are roughly 650 of these.

Extended attributes are not to be confused with an “attribute extension.” Extensions are just buckets of attributes focused on a certain business process, product class or type, such as the GS1 Chemical Ingredient Extension.

Back to the 1,100.  An additional (approximately) 300 attributes have been approved and modeled for the next Major Release, slated for 2016.   I must emphasize that just because standard attributes exist, it doesn’t mean they will be used or passed through the GDSN.  Many attributes are appropriate only for certain classes of goods.  What’s actually being synchronized is largely what’s being requested by the totality of the retailers, distributors, operators and providers in the Network, no more.  Currently, we estimate that the typical grocery retailer in the US asks for about 75 attributes.  Certain data recipients in the network ask formany more than that.

The number of product item attributes in use is growing and will continue to grow as the GDSN-enabling concept of ‘single version of the truth’ becomes more prevalent for both data suppliers and data recipients.  We’re seeing a strong uptick in the request and use of consumer-facing, marketing, and regulatory attributes to support eCom, marketing and regulatory processes.  Stay tuned for future GDSN Attributes 101 blogs for more insights.

About Chris Lemmond

Sr. Director, Marketing and Commercial Operations

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