SEMA News—March 2018

I was on a business trip recently and found myself with a bit of downtime in the morning. I had a couple of hours before I needed to be anywhere, so I turned on the TV and immediately became immersed in a movie. When I made mention of the movie to a colleague, she asked if I had read the book. I had not. Nor will I. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a good book; I simply enjoy a good movie more. While some might say that the preference of a movie over a book makes me a simpleton, I disagree.


My preference boils down to the differences between video and text. The average person responds far better to visual information than to text. Visual stimulation allows the brain to consume information with greater ease. About 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed at 60,000 times the speed of text. I like movies because they are a more efficient means of entertainment.

Because we process visual information so easily, video is an ideal means to deliver training content. The popularity of YouTube as a resource for research and education is a strong testimony for video. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video, compared to 10% reading it in text, according to the marketing firm Insivia, and retention is a key component of the learning process.

There is a need in our industry for a better understanding of the benefits of standardizing product data. The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) recently launched a site that is focused on helping our members grasp the value of data standardization. We want the content to be easy to understand and remember, so the material is presented in an extensive video library.

The SDC’s video library is a free resource that covers everything from first steps in how to begin the data standardization process through advanced training on the nuts and bolts of application data and product information. The material was developed to introduce new users to industry standards and refine the knowledge of seasoned data experts. Whatever your level of expertise, you will find valuable content in the SDC video library.

Why did we focus the content on product information and data standards? Consumer data demands are ever increasing. With more and more data required to sell parts in our competitive environment and time to market being of utmost importance, the need for standardized product data is becoming increasingly evident, and many are finding it detrimental to operate without it.

Data standardization provides a method to align vehicle applications, product information and digital assets into standards that are used across thousands of manufacturers and resellers. Data standards give us rules, guidelines and structure to share complex information, ensuring that we are all speaking the same language. The use of a single, standards-compliant data repository provides incredible flexibility and economy of effort. Updates can be made once and delivered to all data receivers at the click of a button. We encourage any manufacturers that need some help standardizing their product data to contact us. We stand ready to assist.

When you have a moment, stop by our library to check out a few of videos in it. You can find the resource on We will continue to build the library and welcome any suggestions you may have for new videos. 

To learn more about how you can take control and manage your product data at the lowest possible cost, contact SEMA Data Co-op Senior Director of Membership Jim Graven via email at or by phone at 888-958-6698, ext. 4.

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