Big data offers benefits in terms of improving business strategy, identifying fraud and increasing profits. But it’s easy for small and mid-size retailers to find reasons not to adopt a big-data strategy. We recently discussed three popular myths about using big data. Now, here are two more myths perpetuated among operators and the facts behind the fiction.
Myth No. 4: I won’t really save much, and it’ll be too tough to get.
Truth: The data at this point shows that there are real cost savings for operators both large and small. The benefits of aggregating data for smaller operators are numerous. Among them: Retailers can cut costs, raise efficiency, solve problems, compete more effectively with other larger businesses, grow flexibility and boost sales and loyalty.
Some businesses are creative about leveraging data. Here are two examples from the large and small business communities:
- On the big business side, Burberry, the luxury fashion retailer, is using radio frequency identification (RFID) in its stores to accentuate the shopping experience and at the same time, to learn about its customers, according to Techtarget Online. When a customer walks by a display screen holding an item, the RFID tag prompts a video to play, which shows how the item was made and offers complementary products. The RFID tag, with the customer’s permission, also creates a customer profile by tracking the items the customer has tried on in the store.
- On a smaller scale, an article in TechRepublic found that a Tucson, Ariz. -based small business owner named Brian Janezic created a more efficient and faster way to reorder supplies for his two self-service car washes. He installed sensors and collected IoT (Internet of Things) data from his chemical drums. This helped him automate the monitoring of chemical consumption and triggering of reorder points.
These examples show that businesses are using data for clear purposes—to improve their operations, drive efficiency and hike profits.
Myth No. 5: It can be successful without commitment from everyone.
Truth: Hardly. There must be buy-in for a big-data solution from the top of the organization to the bottom. Fortunately, because everyone can profit in some way from big data, the key is to show the various stakeholders how they can use the data to their advantage.
Personalized and user-defined dashboards, alerts and reports, which are available in many platforms, offer a way for decision-makers to better understand business development trends and adjust to address them. In the best-case scenario, various departments will be able to look at the data and see how they can leverage it.
Take the example of cash handling information. While a treasury user can leverage deposit data to drive improvement with funds availability, a mid-tier loss prevention user can use that same data to drive down risk, while the local user can balance to deposit data, taking down labor costs in the deposit reconciliation process.
Other ways to use this cash handling data: It may be leveraged outside of the organization to monitor device uptime and deposit patterns. And information about cash is useful when combined with point of sale or camera coverage to provide loss prevention and even marketing benefits.
As big data truly benefits the entire organization, getting everyone on board may be as simple as supplying a show-and-tell.
Click here for the first part in the series discussing myths 1-3.
This post is sponsored by FireKing Security Group