Analyzing business data sometimes gets as many interpretations as reading a book or watching a movie. Depending on how you view things, it may mean something different to you than how someone else sees it. While some facts and figures are obvious enough, some retail performance data can lack clarity and context.
This is usually the result of using a data solution that lacks the capability to present a clear overview of performance while also providing the powerful drill downs and filtering necessary to better understand the underlying factors impacting that performance. Business overviews can provide generalities, but without the ability to understand the business at a more detailed level, those generalities can sometimes lead to assumptions.
Here's three benefits of having an unbiased view of your retail data using a reliable retail analytics solution to see the realities of what is occurring.
1. Real-Time Data for Immediate Information
With faster and more efficient technology, retailers can utilize real-time analytics that provide an immediate reality of their retail operations with instant accessibility. It enables a more detailed view into sales and margins based on sales data as it happens. When you use an analytics platform that gives you information in real-time, you no longer have to rely on historical data and trends that are a month old or more.
This allows retailers to assess past performance based on the previous week, or even the previous day. This can be especially useful if you are evaluating promotional performance or a new pricing strategy. Data that is more readily accessible can allow for quicker promotion reconciliation and allowance processing, while also providing insights that may influence future activity.
An additional benefit of using real-time data is improved projections for future performance. Since you have access to the most current information to build those projections, they will be more accurate. On the supplier side, this means account managers can go beyond orders and deliveries to gain unprecedented access to actual inventory management at each retail location. This real-time information can improve demand forecasts and item velocity, provide insights into promotional performance and establish a foundation for better order accuracy.
2. Thorough Analytics Eliminate Guesswork
When presented with a lack of detail, there is a tendency to allow personal biases to influence the interpretation of data. If you have a certain perspective on how your business should perform, analyzing data with limited context can mean filling in the blanks with your own ideas rather than facts. Other team members may do the same, leading to a very limited view of business realities.
The ability to provide more in-depth analysis from sales scorecards by simply clicking on drill downs from within the dashboard can bring these analytics to life. This eliminates the need to run separate reports to understand the data being displayed, thereby making business insights more readily accessible to all users regardless of proficiency level.
Being able to view orders and replenishment at the store and UPC levels provide category managers and supplier account managers with the specific details needed to improve in-stock position with a more targeted approach, rather than looking at a blended overview that can hide an inventory surplus or shortage.
3. More Transparency Between Retailers and Suppliers
Having a completely transparent approach to data opens the doors to having everyone seeing reality so there is a single version of the truth.
For retailers, the ability to provide comprehensive and accurate information across the board helps everyone work toward improving goals. When you share this information collectively with every department, overall alignment with enterprise business goals improves. In addition, progress can be tracked in real-time using key performance indicators (KPI's) that are built into easily accessible dashboards.
For suppliers, having access to retailer point-of-sale data can foster greater collaboration on decisions such as shelf assortment, store distribution, pricing strategies and promotional planning. There can be less reliance on syndicated data alone to understand retailer sales performance because the data can be made available directly from the retailer. This type of transparency can open the door to better working relationships between trading partners.
When you don't have transparent data available, pretending nothing is wrong will eventually catch up with you. Let us provide the accurate and unbiased views of data you need here at iControl.
Contact us to find out more about our software tools for retailers and suppliers, or click below to request your a demo of our platform.