retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is out with a new study, conducted in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting, that "contains five specific conclusions and recommendations for how food, beverage and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies can convert emerging forms of 'big data' into useful analytics and insights to improve business results."

The five key conclusions are:

• "Few Have the Required Analytical Foundation in Place: Over the last decade, the majority of CPG industry firms have not progressed beyond localized analytics and are still challenged to capitalize on their 'small' existing data (internal and structured).  Conversely, a handful of CPG firms have improved their analytical maturity to become strong analytical companies and therefore have the required foundation to capitalize on new emerging sources of big data."

• "Rapid-Fire Pace of Innovation Requires Data & Analytics Competency: The rapid-fire pace of technological and digital innovation has the potential to define winners and losers in the CPG industry, and an integrated core competency around small data, big data and analytics is a requirement for the winners."

• "Industry is moving from linear change to exponential disruption: Until now, a CPG company’s competitive advantage did not depend on having strong analytical maturity; however, the industry’s preconceived notion of change is about to be disrupted by the exponential pace of innovation.  Navigating this landscape will require companies to harness data and efficiently convert it to insights."

• "Business Context Required – Integrated and Cross-Functional Business Planning & Execution: The 'Formula for Growth' is most impactful when applied in the context of cross-functional and integrated business planning and execution.  Whether small or big data, the goal is to consistently make better decisions to improve an organization’s planning and execution toward achieving top- and bottom-line growth objectives."

• "Cultural Shift - The Characteristics and Traits of the New Industry 'Winners': This new 'exponential' pace of innovation will require a culture of experimentation, trial and error, and other methods that enhance a company’s ability to remain agile, fluid and adaptable.  A strong versus weak data and analytical maturity is one of the key differentiators between a CPG company that effectively navigates this new era of innovation and one that falls victim to the exponential pace of change."

According to the press release, "the report is the culmination of more than 10 months of broad-based industry research."
KC's View:
It is studies like this one that make me realize how little I know, how under-educated I am, and how much there is for me to learn.

I read these excerpts, and I am astounded that it only took them ten months to figure out that while many companies have actionable data, few are using that data to the extent that they could ... that it is speed and accuracy of data analysis that will determine who the future winners will be ... that the ability and willingness to disrupt one's own business is a key factor in future success ... and that a core goal for any organization is to be nimble enough make better and faster decisions.

Man, I wish I were smart and educated enough to be able to take almost a year to do all sorts of research to reach conclusions that we've only been guessing about here on MNB over the past few years or so. Our conclusions have been pretty much the same, but let's face it - they've only been lucky guesses.

I feel like such an under-achiever.