Occasionally, we receive data requests for products that we are unable to find online. We call these products untraceable.

Untraceable products present a challenge for our data team, since the only information we have is whatever is supplied by the person who requested the data. Very often this means only model number, which by itself is not of much value for use in System Integrator.

What can be done?

With a little more information, it is possible that the product(s) can be tracked down. Whenever we can’t find something a subscriber has asked for, we’ll send back a list and ask for additional information. The rest of this article should help you find what the problem is, and what to do about it.

Why does this happen?

Our team searches the internet for the combination of Manufacturer and Model, based on the exact strings you give us. When this does not yield a positive search result, there are several possible reasons:

  • Manufacturer is misspelled
  • Manufacturer is a distributor and not a manufacturer
  • Model number is invalid or outdated
  • Model number is from a distributor, rather than the manufacturer
  • We have been given a SKU instead of a model number
  • Model number has extra characters
    • sometimes accounting systems will prepend or append characters
    • sometimes quantity or status information is appended (e.g. DV-101 (2-pack))
    • copyright, trademark and other unicode characters
  • Model information is not publically available
  • Model information is available only in pdf’s or other non-searchable documents
  • Model number has been transformed in MS Excel (e.g. 5-04 becomes May 2004)

How you can help

In order to help us find the data, there are a number of things you can do, depending on the information you have:

  • Provide hyperlinks or datasheets/pdf’s for the products in question
  • Provide corrected manufacturers/model numbers
  • Provide a price list or other csv export from your accounting system with more information
  • Provide us an entirely new list of products to collect instead

With this new information, we’ll be able to find the products, or at least add the information you already have, and complete 100% of your request.

If you have any questions with this process, please contact us at data@d-tools.com

Randy Bownds
Director of Data Products
D-Tools, Inc