In order to reap benefits through the use of product intelligence, it’s important to take some key factors into consideration. These factors include people, data, technology, process development, and finally, a commitment to deploying product intelligence.
1. Commitment to deploying product intelligence: A product intelligence solution and strategy can only be successful if the right investments are made in terms of resources and methodologies. A product intelligence strategy needs to be developed and pursued, without abandoning it halfway through.
2. Data: While data is the key driver of product intelligence, more data does not mean more value. Mining data for a specific outcome is the ideal approach to better decision making. For example, to optimize inventory, retailers would need existing data about the supply chain, demand, and lead-times. On the other hand, data about competitor strategies and market conditions can help retailers differentiate their merchandise better.
3. Technology: Understanding a retailer’s actual needs can help define requirements and establish which tools can best provide efficiency in aggregating data and carrying out analytics. At the core, it’s big data technology powering product intelligence. Based on a retailer’s needs, different components of this technology are put to use.
4. People: While technology can help automate certain actions, it cannot unlock opportunities all by itself. Having the right analytical talent to collaborate with different business units to provide interventions and achieve specific outcomes is equally important for leveraging product intelligence.
5. Process development: To successfully harness the power of product intelligence, it’s important to align an organization’s processes, systems, and capabilities to make better decisions based on the insights. This typically requires that the data analysts work closely with business units to address specific questions.
Retailers that consider and assess each of these factors can better leverage product intelligence to make better decisions, differentiate products, and meet customer expectations.
For a detailed understanding of product intelligence and its applications, watch the free webinar How Product Intelligence boosts Merchandise Performance, presented by Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights, and Sudhir Holla, Senior Vice President at Ugam.
Mihir Kittur is a Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ugam. He oversees sales, marketing and innovation and works with leading retailers and brands with insights and analytics solutions around their category decisions to improve business performance.