BandyWorks work with dozens of retail chains and growing businesses. We have found the following 7 critical success factors for driving continuous improvement through retail analytics.
1. Key Performance Indicators – executives and managers should focus intently on their very most important performance metrics. For example, an Executive Dashboard should provide a quick view of the top 3 to 5 most important KPI’s, with the ability to drill down into details.
2. Fast Page Loads – Slow page loads cause users to lose interest. Research by Google has shown that a page load delay even as small as 400 milliseconds is enough to cause people to search less. Affordable new database technologies allow for unprecedentedly fast page load times from analytics queries.
3. Custom Views – Different users have different responsibilities and focus. The dashboard should report on the metrics most relevant to each user’s primary responsibility within the company.
4. Trend Lines – It’s not terribly hard to commit to memory your performance analytics, but it’s really hard to detect intricate patterns of causality. For full context, it is enlightening to see data trends over different timeframes with a report that shows, perhaps, trailing 2 months data, or same week last year comparisons, in order to truly understand the trend of a key metric.
5. Drill Downs – In order to drive continuous improvements, it’s important to be able to drill down to the root cause of a metric, and take action. With one click, a drill down can show a specific data trend over the given timeframe. This makes it incredibly easy to identify your performance outliers, and conduct root cause analysis.
6. Flexibility – Make it easy to change the information or add something new as your company evolves. Resist the urge to put everything on one screen.
7. Accuracy – Inaccurate data will clearly undermine the benefit of your analytics, and lead to false assumptions. Don’t let it happen by hiring a less experienced developer to conduct intricate ETL work.
When considering your business analytics remember that performance data without insights is worthless. And insights need to be actionable, with teams and individuals who are empowered to drive continuous improvements.
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