How Can I Use Daily Data if My Processes Are Based on Weekly?
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Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. And that can be dangerous, especially in the business world.
As more and more consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) migrate from analyzing weekly retail point-of-sale (POS) data to analyzing daily POS data, those who continue to view their data weekly (or worse, monthly) will continue to fall further behind. In a rapidly changing retail world where seconds count, the most up-to-date and accurate demand and supply data is critical to a CPG’s long-term success, growth, and profitability.
Let’s start with where we are today. The big question for manufacturers is: If you’re relying on weekly retail POS data to strategize for sales, marketing, logistics, or other important business-driving areas, is it possible to easily make the change to using daily data?
The answer is yes. You can’t afford not to do it.
Why is Utilizing Daily Data So Important to Consumer Brands?
There are few retail analytics software companies that can successfully provide retailers’ daily POS data and then integrate it with internal enterprise data—as well as with third-party syndicated, weather, social media, ad spending, and other important data points—in a clear and concise platform. But the software that does this provides next-level granular analytics for eye-opening results.
With accurate and timely data, various business groups thrive:
- Sales: Since sales and account teams don’t always run trade promotions that line up neatly with a standard week, daily data provides more accurate lift numbers and is required for proper trade optimization; with weekly or monthly data, these numbers must be calculated using time-consuming manipulations, which cannot be precise because they rely on assumptions. To calculate accurate lift and subsequently true trade ROI, daily numbers are essential.
- Marketing: New product launches and marketing campaigns will be better aligned when using daily sales data, especially when analyzing historical data. Let’s never forget that holidays and seasonality-driven programs seldom occur on the same days (or weeks). Daily data will allow for stronger analysis and more accurate predictions throughout sales, marketing, and the supply chain. Near-instant feedback is critical for assessing accurate sell-through, which then allows for timely adjustments to the program or campaign strategy which then leads to increased success.
- Supply Chain: Knowing exactly what’s in inventory and what’s selling through each day helps supply chain teams better manage their inventory and avoid either overstuffing the market or not providing enough inventory to stores. They can see in near real time if a product isn’t selling and decide if it makes sense to place it on promotion, divert the product, or recommend another action.
Daily data is the difference for key business decisions. It essentially provides the proper analysis that drives accurate insights and propels each of these business drivers forward.
The e-commerce Piece
E-commerce is already operating on a daily (really second-by-second) tracking model. When a shopper buys an item online, their every move is tracked—from their site of origin, through the retailer’s website pages, to the final sale. Even the amount of time spent on each page is carefully measured. Retail sales are tracked to the second, and therefore, inventory can also be updated by the second.
Since the industry has this robust capability for online sales, it makes sense to align brick-and-mortar sales tracking to get more uniform reporting across channels. Daily data for CPGs is the next huge step forward since yesterday’s data is available today. With a robust retail analytics software program, merging this data into timely information is simple and efficient.
Related: How Daily Data Can Transform Your Business
Evolving to Daily Data
The good news for manufacturers is there are painless and productive ways to migrate from weekly to daily tracking. A retail analytics solution like VELOCITY® can automatically collect and integrate your retail sales data with your internal enterprise data and any third-party resources and perform data cleansing, harmonizing, and normalizing. After that, it’s only a matter of pulling customized reports with your data by whichever day you want.
You’ll open up a whole new world of valuable insights by comparing performance by exact day, and you’ll see insightful patterns emerge—many that simply aren’t possible on less granular or less timely weekly or monthly levels. You can pinpoint and compare sales, especially for special dates like the Fourth of July, Diwali, Black Friday, the days following Christmas, and more. You can track trade promotion and marketing efforts that revolve around localized back-to-school, prom, spring break dates, and more—all of which cannot be accurately tracked without daily numbers.
CPG companies harnessing daily data gain an important competitive edge. If you want to be seen as a leader, daily data is key. In today’s world, how quickly and effectively you analyze data often reflects how well you pull ahead of the competition. If your demand planning, promotions, or sales planning happens on a macro monthly basis, then you’re only visiting that analysis monthly. If it’s weekly, you’re only seeing it weekly. Either way, these numbers are stale and don’t provide as much value.
For instance, a grocer who stocks a new product might have a flop on his hands. By analyzing the sales data weekly or monthly, he won’t be able to see that until he’s accrued more inventory than he cannot sell. Conversely, if he’s tracking sales numbers daily, he’ll see those sales patterns emerge much faster, and he can make nimble adjustments to replace the product or possibly adjust the quantities.
Shelf visibility is key. With daily retail shopper data, they’ll have a much more accurate picture of on-shelf availability and sell-through. Since syndicated data is more directional than precise, a daily window helps CPGs fill in their data holes and gain clarity. Daily data analytics will reveal the root causes of any issues, whether they’re sales, marketing, or supply chain related.
Why Wait to Make the Move?
You can see quickly why demand planning on a weekly or monthly basis is a real liability when other CPG companies can leverage daily numbers. On the sales side, it can help increase sell-through and profits. On the marketing side, it increases lift and better optimizes trade spending. Within the supply chain, daily data helps reduce days and cut costs.
For over 28 years, Retail Velocity has helped companies migrate to daily data that tracks both at a store and SKU level. We provide the know-how and support to help CPGs make the move seamlessly and painlessly. Knowing is more than half the battle when it comes to your business—and it’s one of the most important steps to retail success.
Gain the Edge with Daily Data.