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Actionable Insights: How to Take the Next Step with Your Data

Better data leads to better decisions. However, it’s the latter part—decisions—that is often the biggest challenge for brands and retailers. You have the raw data, but how do you convert it into actionable insights?

This is something that we think about a lot. We’re constantly in search of better solutions to not just provide data but illustrate a clear path forward. Here is what we’ve learned about how to ensure you can take the next step with your data toward actionable insights.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

In our previous look into how to make raw data actionable in eCommerce, the adage “garbage in, garbage out” illustrated the challenge of comparing like products across an online marketplace when retailers use different terms to describe the same products. This creates a problem when you try to acquire data (garbage in) and act upon it (garbage out).

GIGO holds true in today’s multi-channel retail environment and avoiding it is the first step toward actionable insights. You must be measuring the right metrics in order to act in a beneficial way.

Let’s work backward as an example. First, the action. You want to adjust a specific product’s price across all online marketplaces and your own webstore. You can just do it, moving the price up or down depending on sales numbers. However, you know this is a risky strategy and could easily fail to achieve the desired results (garbage in, garbage out). Instead, you need some data to make an informed decision.

So, you leverage a pricing engine to track competitors’ prices and your margins and automatically adjust prices as needed. This is quality data in—competitors’ prices and margins—and action out—automatic price optimization. This approach holds true no matter what you want to act upon. Measure the right data to provide a clear plan of attack.

price tag on onion

Layer, Combine, Compare

Nothing in retail operates in a vacuum. Everything is connected and each change—to a price, product, display, or something else—can have an effect on a different part of your business.

This is why one of our keys to actionable insights is to layer, combine, and compare data. Use different data sources together to create a more holistic picture of your business. You can automate your repricing and track your competitors’ promotions to better plan for key drive periods. You can use mystery shoppers to crowdsource data on display compliance and send your own on-the-ground teams into those stores to review more specific compliance metrics.

The bottom line is that you should be gathering data from a variety of sources to craft the most effective plan of attack.

People around table analyzing actionable insights

Involve the Right People

At the end of the day, it’s the people who make the decisions and act upon your data. That’s why it’s crucial that you involve the right people in the process.

The trick is getting the data in front of the people who can do something about it. At Wiser, we’ve worked on a few ways to streamline this process. We automate as much of the data collection process as possible, so the information is readily available and easily digestible. This removes the hurdle of having to sift through significant volumes of raw data—a problem that can prevent certain people from getting involved due to time constraints or other concerns.

We also deliver clear and concise tools. We use online dashboards for easy access to information, so you can have the right people log in when it’s convenient for them. This simplifies your data review and ensures the process is as direct as possible.

Obtain Your Actionable Insights

You have a number of important goals: increased revenue, reduced costs, greater brand awareness. You know that data is a key part of reaching those goals. What stands in the way is the how.

How to optimize prices, how to set up a display, and how to ensure merchandising compliance. The how is the bridge between data and action and following these steps can help you take the next step with your data.

Connect with Wiser today to learn more about our multi-channel solutions and how they lead to actionable insights for your business.

Matt Ellsworth

Matt is the Content Marketing Manager at Wiser, the leading provider of actionable data for better decisions. He holds a BA from Salem State University.

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