Pilot:  Data Standardization, GDSN & Analytics

Hundreds of K-12 brands are now publishing GDSN data to a centralized database using prototype software available free to both Suppliers and Schools.  As a result, data for more than 50,000 products are now searchable in real time using this powerful search engine during the menu planning process.  Nutrients, allergens, portion sizes and child nutrition meal pattern credit are now written to a local database and available with a single click of the mouse.

Beginning in the 2019-20 School Year, Pilot schools will help develop and refine new open data standards for GDSN,  including the data available behind each unique bar code, known as GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) attributes.  Use of these attributes, along with corresponding operational data, will be shared among stakeholders and advisors to drive data analytics.  This will enable Nourish to Flourish collaborators to test and measure the impact of interventions using a common reporting protocol.

Data Standardization Pilots


  • How do we measure net time savings of GDSN adoption for menu planners?
  • Does K-12 data standardization make it easier to build and support interfaces to point of sale, ordering, and inventory systems?
  • How do we assure a process that fully understands and standardizes the data needs and uses of stakeholders across proprietary software systems?
  • What is the role of state agencies as participants and advocates of data standards?
  • How do distributors and suppliers consume and use data while protecting security and privacy?
  • How does free access to and use of published GTINs influence competition and improve quality control?
  • What is the role of GTINs in food safety?

School Pilot Process

School Pilot Overview Video

Pilot Districts

Pilot districts will be asked to assist with piloting the integrated Menu Planning and Production Record software including:

  • Express interest in participating by filling out the Apply for Pilot Survey or contacting an inTEAM representative. An information gathering interview will be conducted to establish baseline needs and goals.
  • Review and execute the N2F School Pilot Agreement regarding data access, sharing, and security in compliance with regulations including COPPA, FERPA, and typical state and local policies governing data security and management.
  • Identify a single point of contact, possibly a dietetic intern or program manager, for the N2F Pilot to ensure that the program runs well and to help identify and resolve any issues at the Pilot Site.
  • Complete onboarding seminar as well as online training course work in the first 30 days of the pilot. All online courses are FREE and available 24 hours a day throughout the pilot period ending in January 2021.
  • Assist with obtaining and matching GTINs for current contracted CN items used in Menu Plans and Recipes. This may include requesting Suppliers to publish GTIN Attributes to the N2F data pool.
  • Procure tablet(s) for use with the Daily Wrap Up App. The district and an N2F representative will work along-side the district IT department to install and maintain apps.
  • Enter and maintain items, recipes and menus in pilot software.
  • Enter production data into the Wrap Up App, daily, for measurement of product use.
  • Provide feedback to refine standards for collecting GTIN data, developing upload specifications, and establishing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reporting formats.
  • Once the measurement tools are in place, evaluate the local feasibility to test various innovations originating from other N2F Work Groups. Examples might include: Made to Order sandwiches, introducing new products and brands, and integration with mobile apps. communications, student ratings, establishing loyalty programs, and line queueing strategies.
  • Coordinate with State and Regional Dairy Councils throughout Pilot life cycle.

Join the Community of K-12 Suppliers and School Partners

Manufacturers and suppliers are central to this initiative and the GDSN content you provide will influence menu planning decisions and correspondingly student preference and choice in the cafeteria. School nutrition is changing, and the best way to maintain an edge in the industry is to be a part of this change, and to stay close to the stakeholders and influencers that will be decisive in industry change.

 Participation is voluntary, but by joining this initiative you will join other national manufacturers and industry leaders that are already participating. As a benefit, we will share data analytics and related insights to the way that schools are reshaping the Child Nutrition landscape for vendors, distributors, schools and our children.

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