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The next stage of business analytics evolution

With the ever-increasing levels of data now available, category management professionals are faced with a dilemma.  Growing volumes of data provides a more complete view of the customer; however, it’s not easy to find the time to get to the optimum answer.

Multiple systems leverage many data sources, such as point of sale, merchandising, syndicate and consumer – leaving the recipient with a challenge of consolidating fragmented sources and creating a coherent story.  All of this usually leads to human-error, or investing too much time manipulating data instead of making business decisions.  Often these people, and companies, describe themselves at “data rich, yet insight poor.”

So, how is it possible to leverage growing levels of data, while ensuring that the best business decisions are being made, without dramatically increasing team sizes or cost?

Key areas to focus on:

  1. 1. Remove the pressure of having to manually integrate many data sources by identifying alternative ways of centralizing, maintaining and hosting this information.
  2. 2. Ensure that insight is easy to consume, readily available at the touch of a button and most importantly, actionable.
  3. 3. Analyze the entire customer view across multiple data sets, instead of focusing on one particular aspect at a time
  4. 4. Transfer knowledge through the sharing of information across the organization and with valued partners where necessary to aid collaboration.
  5. 5. Drive consistency throughout the business by integrating process with insight and then automating as much as possible to gain time savings.

Imagine if all of these fragmented data sources were seamlessly integrated together and then delivered to the user in the form of a web-based solution?  A solution that provides intelligent insight and integrated reporting, to ensure that the user can identify an opportunity or threat quickly, then find the optimum route to success?

ToolBox has spent over 15 years helping customers resolve these kind issues and focus on what matter most to them – driving their business forward.  Now sees the next stage of evolution in this process, with the introduction of 1screen.

1screen allows you to answer the key questions that you ask every day, such as:

–        Am I making the most of the valuable consumer data I have at hand?

–        How is competitive activity affecting my performance and how do I react?

–        Is my promotional strategy driving incremental sales and increasing consumer conversion?

–        Are my best performing items in the highest distribution possible and if not, what is my performance opportunity?

–        Where can I reallocate space and revenue by removing or reducing distribution of poor performing, non-loyal items?

–        Which of my vendors are driving my business forward, and which are holding me back?

–        Are stores not executing my planograms, and what are the lost sales as a result?

Only through combining multiple data sets, is it truly possible to achieve a complete view of your business and be able to answer these key questions quickly and correctly.

However, is insight enough?

No business can truly be successful if they are not embracing, combining and improving, key processes in areas of the organization that need them most.  For example, often the category management process is conducted in isolation, and does not take into consideration other facets of the customer view.  It is essential that category management processes evolve and that insight in embedded throughout each step, enabling users to create coherent stories.  However, unless these processes are easy to implement, utilize and understand, adoption will remain low and true value, never achieved.

1screen, embeds business process throughout the solution, and provides the user with the ability to drive consistent reviews across the organization.  Not only does this ensure a transfer and retention of knowledge, but by incorporating automation, it results in high levels of adoption and success.  All of which, provides an analytical framework and allows you to create a comprehensive category or business review in a matter of minutes.

A final thought.

Often it takes far too long to get to the critical answer, and that can lead to not meeting the needs of the customer, which in this competitive environment, is unacceptable.   If you or your team is working in an environment where you have to touch many solutions, or fragmented data sources – you are losing competitive edge.

Identify what questions matters most to your business, how you can get to those answers most rapidly, and most of all; make sure it can be achieved in 1screen.

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