By now, most companies realize the importance of gathering data and consumer insight. It’s never been easier to pull in various forms of information, numbers and trends. Now the problem is, what do you do with all this precious data? How do you ensure it’s being interpreted correctly and that the right actions are undertaken based on the findings?
In a recent RetailWire survey entitled ‘How Shopper Insights are Fueling Retail Progress’ found 73% of respondents feel consumer insights are “very important or essential to the performance of the departments in which they work.”
However, the study also revealed that one of the major roadblocks to integrating consumer intel into a company’s strategic operations is due to the absence of skilled personnel rather than a lack of technology or infrastructure.
Almost two-thirds of the companies surveyed have no monitoring process to determine the impact of Shopper Insights initiatives on their standard metrics. RetailWire
The survey concluded with three recommendations that we’ve also found to be true for iQmetrix clients who have achieved success with Business Intelligence:
1. Ensure that access to data and analytics is available to people closest to the business problem – without IT-dependence or delay.
This is an excellent point. The intelligence a company gathers should not remain under lock and key within the top ranks of the organization. In order for data to be put to work it must be disseminated throughout the business in a way that makes sense to the various readers. This may mean your sales reps are given daily reports that give insight into sales rep functions. Your regional managers might receive reports that are tailored to a manager’s responsibilities. The data is all pulled from the same place, but it should be presented in customizable formats.
2. Build cross-functional relationships and establish joint goals to overcome fiefdoms; ensure inter-departmental cooperation.
This point goes hand-in-hand with the first one. Sharing information and improving communication is a great step toward putting everyone in your organization on the same page. When every level in your company can see their individual goals, and how those goals feed into store locations, regional districts and the company as a whole, it’s easier to achieve greater cooperation.
3. Measure, Measure, Measure! And tie metrics of data-driven initiative back to organizational goals!
Lastly, the focus is on ROI. It’s extremely important to monitor and measure the results of the initiatives that have resulted from all that data. Share your success stories throughout the company as well as any key learnings that may drive changes in strategy. As your use of BI grows, you’ll need to grow your company’s buy-in and move towards an organizational culture keeps consumer insight at the heart of operations.
Learn more about iQmetric BI and how we can help you get the most out of your performance data.