The new services integrate multiple data sources including store-level point-of-sale data to address specific business issues including sales force allocation, product mix and price elasticity. A mix of advanced analytics such as forecasting, predictive modeling and optimization are applied to determine the current situation and [image-nocss] to identify opportunity gaps, trends, future trends and areas for improvement.
Tammy Peterson, director of advanced analytics for NPD's automotive business, said, "The purpose of advanced analyticsas sophisticated as it may soundis to simplify, sort through all the available data and information, and make sense of it all as it applies to a business."
For example, many firms will apply advanced analytics to understand how a brand's sales will respond to price reductions. Such learning would enable more effective decisions about pricing and promotions to maximize unit sales, gross dollars or profit margin. But complex marketplace realities, including the number of stores selling at varying price points, obscures the effect of price at the total market level. The advanced analytics solution is to cluster stores into groups by indexing price to the national average in order to understand sales performance at varying price levels. The results can reveal the price point at which the brand achieves sizeable increases in unit sales. In one example, a brand needed to drop its average price by 10% to maximize unit sales volume and profits.
"As the aftermarket grows increasingly competitive and complex, businesses need more than just access to information. They need tools to mine knowledge from the information," said David Portalatin, director of business analysis for NPD automotive. "It's the aim of NPD to find the information, analyze it and find the insights and direction needed for our aftermarket clients to make the best decisions for their businesses."
The NPD Group, Houston, provides consumer and retail information for a variety of industries. It helps clients identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys and wireless.