Timing is everything.
If you are a baseball fan, learning about the final score in the evening news may be fine. If you are the manager of the team, the score must be known pitch by pitch as you still have the opportunity to take action and affect the outcome.
Customers tastes and needs change frequently and social networks have made pricing transparent. Mobile technology with speed of light information has empowered today’s consumer. The trend is accelerating, retailers who continue to rely on lagging information will continue to seriously underperform.
Rule 1: Data must be available “real-time”.
Sounds obvious, but how many business owners have time or freedom to stop during the day and get a comparative analysis on the heartbeat of their business?
Even if the retailer has this capability to get transaction information, they are getting what happened. They are not getting customer sentiment and employee performance integrated with the information.
Sales may be running 10% ahead of plan, what if they could have been 20%? What if your cost of getting that 10% exceeded the actual gain?
Rule 2 : Data must be actionable.
Retailers are famous for being reactive. They react to what has sold, they react to what they learn in the news, and even what the stores performance was last quarter.
Almost every decision is based on something that happened in the past, but rarely take action on what is happening. (Note this is rapidly changing as I have just been texted by 3 different retailers of special in store deals if I act now). Are they counting store traffic, you bet they are!
Business Analytics and competing with them means you or your managers receive alerts based upon preset thresholds being crossed allowing swift action across the network improving both employee performance and customer experience.
More rules to follow.