4 Ways Catalyst Can Help You Get Faster POS Insights During A Critical Time.
With new COVID-19 cases surging across the U.S. over the past couple of weeks, several states are beginning to tighten back up their lockdowns. At the end of June, Texas backed off reopening the state, closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity to 50%. On Monday, Southern Florida also went back on lockdown, shutting down gyms and restaurants, with more closures expected to be announced later this week.
There is a lot of uncertainty now, and likely even more on the way, as infectious disease experts are predicting a huge resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the fall. It’s an uncomfortable time for businesses, and while restaurants, travel and hospitality have taken the brunt of the blow, the uncertainty doesn’t provide much comfort to many companies in the CPG manufacturing space either.
Shutdowns can have wide-reaching implications. Store closures can stunt sales. Manufacturing could be inhibited or forced to temporarily shut down. Distribution avenues or the supply chain may be compromised for one reason or another. You simply don’t know.
But not knowing what will happen now is one thing. Not knowing what is happening while it is happening is another.
The fundamental issue with most point of sale data analysis right now, is that it is usually 4-6 weeks old. In this new pandemic reality, you might as well be looking at data from 2018. If you were looking at POS data from February in late March or early April, it wasn’t very helpful. If your feeling like you’re operating with too many blind spots right now, know that it may very well get significantly worse a few short months from now.
You want to eliminate risk exposure where you can, and in this case, the blind spot in your point-of-sale data can be quite the risk.
So, what can we do? Here are four ways our Catalyst software is helping our clients get point-of-sale insights faster during this critical time.
Getting Up-To-Date Insights On-Demand
The first, and perhaps, most important way we’re helping clients in the POS space is by bringing their data into the present. While POS insights have traditionally been outsourced to another company who delivers you a report on what happened last month, Catalyst allows you to see what is happening this week. Data is refreshed every night, so you can be looking at what happened Monday on Tuesday morning, if you like.
In an extremely volatile retail environment, like we’ve seen in 2020, the ability to make strategic adjustments on shorter notice can be a great advantage. Catalyst allows you to see trends as they happen, and slice and dice by cities, states, regions and retailers.
Easily Marry Up Disparate Data Sets
Another huge advantage of POS analysis through Catalyst is the ability to marry up disparate data into a single view. As an example, we recently stitched together a Data Cube containing POS data (directly from the retailer portals), IRI/Nielsen data, and company shipment information. With that, we were able to create a consumption model that connects how products are shifting from the company’s warehouses into and out of the retailer, along with competitive analysis, all in one spot.
This is just one example. With Catalyst, we can take any data you have, and quickly and easily structure it for analysis and insight. Get better visibility into inventory and out-of-stocks. Add context that helps you understand peaks and valleys in your sales. When you bring all the relevant data into one place, the answers come faster and the picture becomes clearer.
Powerful Dashboard and Visualization Tools
Catalyst offers best-in-class data visualization tools powered by embedded Microsoft Power BI. This allows you to easily transform data into KPI-focused insights, and access dashboards that allow you to see what is happening with your business at any time and on any device.
Data is powerful, but great visualization tools empower you to more easily drive action within your organization by bringing your story to life.
Making Analysis Accessible
One final and powerful way Catalyst helps you get POS insights faster is by making data analysis more accessible for your organization. Catalyst is designed to democratize data in two key ways. One, it’s easy to use for anyone who might be doing analysis. If you have basic Excel capabilities, you’ll be more than at home in Catalyst.
Two, unlike other analytics software suites that charge by the user, Catalyst grants unlimited user licenses throughout your organization, making self-service analytics possible for other key players who might need access to POS reporting or dashboards. With robust security options, users are only able to see the tools and data they need access to. This ensures data governance stays simple and straightforward, while still eliminating the enormous amount of time wasted on data requests that most users could easily self-service with the proper tools.
With Catalyst’s accessibility, you get more brainpower working on the problem, as your team is able to get to the answers they need, when they need them, and bring smarter solutions to the table.
With Catalyst, your POS data can become a powerful tool for driving results. In a time where we’re all being challenged to find safer, smarter ways to operate, speed to vital insights is critical for eliminating risk and optimizing results. With Catalyst, you not only get the information faster, but you and your team are able to see it with more context that can drive fully-baked, fact-based decisions that positively impact the bottom line.
Interested in seeing how Catalyst can help you get faster POS insights first-hand? We are hosting a webinar on 8/20 where we’ll offer an exclusive demo of Catalyst’s point-of-sale analysis tools. Please join us for the all-new webinar: Mastering Point-of-Sale Data: New Tools for Dashboards & Instant Insights.