Best practice data management
When dealing with large amounts of data, many businesses will look no further than keeping manual spreadsheets; a method they have been using for many years, and consider necessary. Going beyond this can, however, bring huge benefits, especially within the retail sector.
Data Management Software and Data Management Systems (DMS) use the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process to store the information collected by a business, and can produce huge rises in levels of accuracy and efficiency, proving to be incredibly valuable. Using systems to ensure a fully automated, timely and accurate approach to managing critical business information can bring many advantages, and create an operation that will allow for rapid analysis of data and subsequent improved decision making when needed.
Unification of global data
As retailers increasingly look beyond a local presence to national and international operation, unifying data and ensuring an approach that is joined up and connected is vital. Franchising and concessions have meant that data is being collected in many different locations, and inevitably in many different styles and formats. Problems can be caused by this lack of consistency, and bringing this data together in a uniformed and standardised manner can be both costly and time consuming.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between a retailer’s various sites and locations is necessary, and using data management software this becomes an automated process rather than a manual one. Sales and pricing data can be consolidated for use in one simple format, available for analysis as the businesses requires.
A key benefit of using data management software is the inclusion of a full wraparound support package, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As data transfer takes place, should any issues arise around missing files or a system failure, having reliable and dependable support available at any point offers both reassurance and total security.
Any problems can be dealt with as they occur, and troubleshooting is possible at any point it may be needed. Back up and disaster recovery also forms part of a wraparound package, something which means businesses do not have to worry about relying on in-house teams to deal with critical issues.
As different retail operations prefer to work in different ways, DMS options reflect this. Both cloud and server based storage are available to suit the needs of the business. The cloud based option is not costly to set up, and by its very nature contains no expensive hardware or equipment. Server based storage is also available at Retail Assist’s around-the-clock data centre, which also offers full operations support.
Retail specific data requirements
Just as preferences around storage vary from business to business, so do the exact types of data. Various retail organisations value forms of data that others choose not to keep, something that data management software can accommodate. The most popular areas that are stored are based around sales figures as well as pricing, all of which are important for monitoring financial performance.
Other retail organisations may choose however to store more complex aspects of data such as emerging trends, interest in specific products or customer engagement. All of this can be facilitated by the fully automated approach of data management software, tailored to the specific business requirements of any retailer as part of the package.