The Evolution of Data

Evolution of Data

Are you up to date with data?

It’s a question that catches many retailers off guard. Many have invested in great data collection technology, and will point to the wealth of information they have as a positive step for their business.

But what can you do with that data? What’s the next step? In today’s competitive marketplace no retailer can afford to stand still, and no retailer can afford to miss out on those golden pieces of information that could be hiding in the vaults of data they collect.

So how do retailers evolve? Well, in a previous blog I already discussed the importance of the ‘known unknown’. Data is like an iceberg – most people can see the tip but it’s often what’s below the surface that will make a real difference.

It’s clear that retailers do not struggle when it comes to collecting data. But data is only valuable if you can get something out of it.

Make your data work for you

Raw data and spread sheets full of numbers can be extremely difficult to interpret, meaning valuable data often stays hidden. If you’re unable to use your data to its full potential, chances are that you are not only missing opportunities but also costing your business money by having to capture it, store it and keep it secure.

Having a top-level view as well as the ability to drill down into specific data sets is vital, as this well help to connect the dots and lead to the ‘eureka’ moments that help retailers evolve and become more successful.

The potential is there, and visual analysis can help retailers unlock it.

Data can come from a number of sources such as POS data, footfall data, coupon data, even new sources such as beacons. The trick to unlocking the real value in the data is being able to pull it all together and use analytics to help to visualise trends rather than looking at each data source in isolation.

By taking all the information that has been collected and presenting it in easily understandable graphics, retailers can identify trends and make smart choices about their stores, employees and products.

Visibility = Insight

Visibility of data, and the insight it provides, is also important so retailers must have the ability to access reports at any time, from any device. They shouldn’t have to be tied to desks, and getting key insights in real time via preferred method boosts usability and increases the chances of making decisions that lead to consistent improvement.

Data becomes truly valuable once you are able to use it to gain insight, especially in cases when you are trying to replicate success in one store across several others.

No matter your targets for this year and beyond, make sure that your data is proving to be as valuable as it should be. Consider taking the next step in data evolution and using visual analytics to make well informed decisions that will take you to the next level.

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