How do you use category management analytics when you have limited data?
To complete analytics, you obviously need data. In fact, it’s one of the key requirements in category management and to strategically understand and measure your business. Despite all of the new data sources available in today’s world, many of us still find ourselves in “low data” scenarios – whether it’s in an entire industry, a region or a category.
Are you in a limited data environment but want to learn how to be more strategic in your approach?
Here are some great resources to help you do category management on limited data:
For some of you, you may have limited data in one specific source, for example, no market data, no consumer/shopper data or no tactical data (pricing, promotion, shelving, assortment).
3 Common Reasons for Category Management on Limited Data:
- Your region or industry has limited data. Some regions of the world have access to less reliable data sources. At the same time, they are getting increased demands from more sophisticated Retailers like Walmart who have expanded into their region. There are also many industries where not all of the data sources are available but many of the principles and analytics associated with category management are very relevant to them.
- You have a limited budget (...who doesn’t?). Data is expensive, data budgets are being squeezed and data is getting more complex and more expensive. There are also more data choices available (particularly focused on Shopper), and unfortunately it’s usually a matter of figuring out what we can cut that will hurt us the least.
- You have specific category data gaps. Coverage may be low or non-existent in some categories and channels. Also, there are perishable, general merchandise and other categories that may not be available through traditional data sources, or where the data is limited.
So these may be some areas that your data gaps are in – and there are many other scenarios that are unique to your industry, region, company and categories. The good news is that limited data doesn’t mean you can’t do category management – it just means that you have to get more creative and rely more on ad-hoc research (like consumer focus groups and insight studies), audit data (like shelf space and # of flyers) and even supplier shipment data (for market information).
Your outputs from using limited data sources will continue to be fact-based and relevant, but not at the same level of sophistication as companies who have access to a full suite of data. The only other requirement is to have the proper foundational category management training, so you can apply the principles, strategies and analytics to the data that you do have access to.