A lot of people are already touting the importance of using data as the backbone for decision-making within organizations. This is why the data industry is now worth hundreds of billions of dollars. However, a lot of people are skeptical of paying for something if they don’t fully understand how it’s going to tangibly impact their organization—especially when it involves investing in technology and personnel. There’s nothing wrong with asking these questions. Businesses should strive to spend their resources in the most efficient way possible. That’s exactly what can be accomplished by adopting data analytics.
The so-called retail apocalypse is one of the best living examples of why listening to data is paramount to the success of your organization in today’s world. Data is what allows companies to adapt to trends before it’s too late. Below are a couple examples of how organizations are using their data to their advantage.
Preemptively Targeting Consumers
Part of being successful in the world of retail is finding ways to entice customers to spend at your store versus another one. Target found a unique way of doing this for a specific niche: newly pregnant women. Having a baby means that you’re going to need to buy a whole host of new items. Researchers at Target wanted to find a way to identify pregnant consumers faster than their competitors. And they did just that by analyzing the purchases pregnant women make before they have a baby. They’re now able to start marketing to these individuals sooner, and thus have a competitive advantage.
The Weather Channel also found a unique way to leverage data to its benefit. Advertising is a major driver of revenue for The Weather Channel. Their data team realized there are certain correlations between the weather and consumer purchasing behavior. This has allowed The Weather Channel to serve more targeted ads to individuals based on current conditions.
Give Yourself the Right Data Tools
Companies that do the best job of using data aren’t hand-recording numbers and doing calculations with an abacus. Modern innovations in retail analytics have completely changed what’s possible. Artificial intelligence is one of the major drivers of this paradigm shift. Revolutionary tools integrating AI and natural language inquiries are making it easier than ever to reach in-depth, actionable insights. Your organization should view its data analytics tools as an investment. Choosing the right options will yield greater results down the line.
Build a Data Culture
Your organization is going to get more from its data if it’s ingrained into the underlying culture of the whole. Too many companies think that data is only to be used and accessed by dedicated analysts. It makes sense to have permission walls for highly sensitive information; however, opening up data to more employees can drive positive outcomes in a variety of ways.
Do your analysts understand the inner workings of every position within your company? Absolutely not. In fact, the only people who fully comprehend the ins and outs of their job are the people who are doing it. Adopting user-friendly data tools can empower employees at all levels. If an individual sees an inefficiency within their position, they should be able to access data that confirms or denies their hypotheses. Getting everyone on board with data is one of the best ways to boost efficiency in a retail business.
The retail industry is in the midst of some major changes. There have already been huge shifts in the sector landscape over the past decade, largely driven by the growth of ecommerce. Things aren’t looking like they’re slowing down anytime soon. This is why it’s important for retailers to get the most out of their data.