March 31, 2015
Seeing the whole picture is a key to understanding your business. Marketers have known this for years. However, as fast as thing go in business today, especially in the C-Store space, it is impossible to manually analyze everything. But only analyzing some data may hide the big picture view. If you cannot see where things stand frequently, it is harder to make changes in time to avoid larger problems. For example, you may need multiple reports, dashboards, maps, and comparisons to see it all. Further, a good solid knowledge of your business may be needed to correlate the necessary views.
In the past, this was done by creating spreadsheets and even more reports. Having only pieces of this massive puzzle may not be helping you. Who can make sound decisions when they only see half of the picture? The fact is that many don’t know that this is all they are seeing.
When seeking reporting options, you need to find ones that relay the whole perspective. To understand the dynamics of what is going on, one has to look at where and when the normal metrics measured are occurring to gain the best perspective. Paper reports may relay where two managers are failing in goal obtainment, and can lead one to conclude these managers are not being effective. Paper reports do not relay that road construction was preventing traffic on the road at the time or, that a competitor may have set up shop across the street at the time the decline went into play. One may be seeing pieces of the puzzle, but until they are put together and correlated into the analytics, you are only seeing individual pieces of a picture.
Seek tools to give you the following:
- Quantitative Performance Data – The data you get in reports and standard dashboards.
- Time Perspective – The correlation of timing and when the results went into play.
- Geographical Perspective – The correlation of what was happening around the store at the time.
C-Store entities, product lines and locations are all so diverse. Basic metrics can be impacted by competition, seasons, weather, and even construction. A good tool will take all of this into play and present the information one needs to come to more accurate conclusions. It will make this type of analysis possible on a daily basis, as you need it. It facilitates the process of setting optimal pricing, inventory levels and staffing levels for the time and environment where they reside. This type of evaluation makes better decisions all around because, once the analysis intertwines these dimensions into one clean correlated view, the puzzle you put together each day will be a true and accurate picture.