In our article on the risks of Excel in retail analytics, we covered the pitfalls of using spreadsheets. Excel can’t hold a flame next to the modern, cloud-based retail analytics platforms that are now available. Ready to dump spreadsheets once and for all? Let’s walk through some of the benefits of moving beyond Excel for your retail analytics needs.
Make critical decisions faster
Excel offers virtually no advanced reporting capabilities or option to view the encompassing picture of your supply chain. This lack of top-view reporting typically forces users with little data analysis experience to rely completely on analysts to do all the heavy lifting. A retail analytics platform can help you visualize your data so that you don’t need to tap on an analyst’s shoulder every time a critical issue arises.
Get out-of-the-box functionality
Excel is loaded with formulae and modeling capabilities, but that doesn’t help you when it comes to mission-critical analysis. An analytics platform with out-of-the-box functionality allows you to try out templates used by other industry stalwarts. Templated data flows make it easy to delineate which sources data is coming from.
Maintain control with governance capabilities
How many times have you received an email thread with a spreadsheet attached bearing a horrifying title like “WMT-Data-Week 32-EDIT-CV REVISED-9122018-ARteam-edit2-final”? You and your coworkers are trying to work on the same spreadsheet to meet a deadline. But, there’s no necessary controls in place to know who edited what, or when, and if the right people are able to access and understand the data they need. A mess.
A proper retail analytics platform will give you governance capabilities so that your team can access the data they need easily, without accidentally saving over someone else’s work. Governance controls also allow you to give varying levels of permission to people in your organization, as well as trading partners that may need connections to your data. Having an audit trail is crucial as your company scales.
Get to work quickly with integration options
Any growing CPG is going to have a lot of data. A proper analytics platform will have all the proper APIs setup so that integrating your data from any number of sources (manufacturing, warehousing, retailers, etc) is a breeze. Then you can get to work quickly and avoid opening a “WMT-Data-Week 32-EDIT-CV REVISED-9122018-ARteam-edit2-final” file ever again.
Time to start your search for a better solution? Check out our article on the 4 steps you should take when evaluating all the analytics providers out there.
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