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Decrypting the Data Portal

By Joe Durham
Data Governance and
Quality Project Manager

In January, I joined FEDA in the newly created role of data governance and quality project manager. I am thrilled to take over the FEDA Data Portal project from Chief Program Officer Valentina Tomov, who will remain involved, and to continue enhancing the portal’s quality and effectiveness.

In my previous roles, I worked with LogicGate, Inc. and Trimble Transportation, where I had the privilege of making significant contributions to the product operations and software as a service (SaaS) project management teams. During my time at LogicGate, my focus was on supporting custom integrations for the company’s GRC (governance, risk and compliance) SaaS product. Subsequently, at Trimble Transportation, I was involved in upgrading customers’ transportation management software and facilitating the seamless migration of their data from one application to another.

I am especially excited to put my data expertise to use on behalf of dealers. Having come from a family-owned small business specializing in rubber parts and O-rings distribution, I have been immersed in the manufacturer, distributor and customer dynamic. I find great satisfaction in contributing to an industry populated by industrious individuals. Although I am still in the process of developing a thorough understanding of the foodservice equipment and supplies sector, I observe a striking resemblance in the caliber of dedicated professionals in both industries. It is invigorating to be part of such a driven and impressive community and the opportunity to contribute to a field I am genuinely passionate about, specifically in the realm of data quality, is a unique and remarkable prospect.

In the fast-paced world of foodservice equipment, a robust database plays a pivotal role in streamlining communication, enabling informed decision-making and fostering sustained innovation. The advancement of the data portal, and its consistent improvements, will play a vital role in the future of the industry. The portal’s commitment to uniform data standards enhances data accuracy and ensures seamless interoperability. These standards are driven by distributor and manufacturer needs, truly making it the industry’s data portal.

The high-quality, transparent data that is found within the FEDA Data Portal is vital for other technology tools and solutions to become possible. E-commerce integrations and inventory management systems are proven innovation drivers that rely heavily on high-quality and current product data. With the ever-growing world of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications, the industry could see product data used in ways like never before, potentially allowing customers to visualize and interact with products virtually through immersive experiences. As the field continues to evolve, the integration of product data into virtual showrooms and other VR applications is a promising trajectory, shaping a future where immersive and interactive encounters with products become a norm.

The philosophy of the FEDA Data Portal centers around the belief that every manufacturer and dealer should have ownership of their own data. The primary goal is to cater to the industry’s needs rather than pursuing profits through the sale of data, thus safeguarding it from potential risks. By providing a dedicated database committed to professional requirements, the portal ensures the highest standards of data quality, uniformity and security while simultaneously acknowledging the industry’s rightful demand for a reliable and safe data practice.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude to both FEDA and the foodservice equipment industry for their warm welcome and excitement upon my start in this new position. The encouragement expressed by FEDA members and technology partners is contagious, reflecting a collective eagerness for the development of a user-friendly and effective database of product information.

Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for any inquiries or feedback concerning the FEDA Data Portal. I encourage manufacturers, as many have already done and continue to do, to reach out for help listing their products on the data portal. The portal thrives on user input, and I welcome your suggestions for potential enhancements. Your insights are invaluable in shaping future improvements for the portal, as it is designed to cater to the needs of its users. I eagerly anticipate further connections with FEDA members throughout this journey and value the collaborative effort in advancing the functionality and effectiveness of the data portal.

What to know About Joe Durham

Educational Background:
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, Master of Science Engineering Management, University of Dayton.

Interesting Fact:
I played football, defensive end, at the University of Dayton from 2018-2022. It was an unbelievable opportunity to travel from coast to coast each season while playing against some of the best competition in the country. During that time, I was very drawn to the advancement of data-driven team tendencies such as in play calls.

Outlook on FEDA:
I am enthusiastic about furthering my knowledge and enhancing the data portal to consistently cater to the evolving needs of manufacturers and dealers in the foodservice industry.

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