Dirty data runs rampant in the CPG industry and many CPG companies see the cleanliness and integrity of their data as an obstacle towards gaining analytical insight. However, companies don’t need to view their unclean data with fear when moving from a transactional process to an analytical processes. One of the key first components of the move is to cleanse and harmonize your data.
Addressing step # 1 data cleansing/harmonization is viewed by most CPG organizations as a daunting, if not near impossible, task. Here are three ways to break through initial fear and to get started:
1) Update data management practices
Due to outdated data management practices and reliance on spreadsheets, many companies see the process of organizing their data to be overwhelming amongst everything else they need to do. Thanks to the time-consuming and manually-intensive nature of spreadsheets, data logging and analysis becomes redundant and slow, preventing analysts from finding the valuable insights. But when practices are updated from spreadsheets to automated data flows, data analysis becomes significantly faster and more actionable.
2) Start small by recognizing the possibilities
Of course, the magnitude of updating data management practices may seem unachievable if you lack confidence in the quality of the data. However, the overhaul and cleansing of all of your data is not prerequisite for data-driven insight. What if you could see the impact of making one change to one promotion for one customer? With a Trade Promotion Optimization Solution, predictive and post-event analytical capabilities should be possible with smaller data sets. By starting small you can visualize the results possible with this solution, but also gain of understanding of just how much data “clean-up” needs to be done. This “test-drive” allows you to quantitatively compare the financial and opportunity cost with future results.
"When practices are updated from spreadsheets to automated data flows,
data analysis becomes significantly faster and more actionable."
3) Data health check and cleansing
But wait! You have other responsibilities and this is one more task you don’t have time to own. Data health checks and cleansing should be part of the project management experience provided by your solution provider. Much of the fear and anxiety over data cleansing comes from companies thinking that the responsibility will solely fall on them. Rather, their responsibility is to recognize the need for change and start taking the necessary steps towards accepting that change. The solution provider takes some of the weight off your shoulders and does the data cleansing and data health checkups so that you can focus on building a complete optimal and accurate trade promotion annual plan program.
"Much of the fear and anxiety over data cleansing comes from companies thinking
that the responsibility will solely fall on them."
You don’t have to be afraid of your data, even if it is dirty, because making the switch to an analytical approach and optimizing your significant annual trade investment with the right solution provider means that you won’t have to bear the burden of cleaning and harmonizing the data on your own. Your provider should partner with you, allowing you to focus on your area of expertise, while using data-driven insight to plan and execute strategies promoting sustainable growth.
What to read next: Becoming an Industry Leader: How to Transform Trade Marketing with Analytics