In a Data-Driven World, CPG Analysts are More Valuable than Ever

Robert Esquivel

by Robert Esquivel

April 27, 2019

Bedrock Key Takeaways

  1. CPG analysts spend roughly 80% of their time on generalized reporting tasks.
  2. By reducing reporting time, analysts can focus on high-level insights that create new opportunities for their brand.
  3. Data visualization tools like Bedrock Analysts make analysts more effective across the organization.


It’s easy for analysts to spend too much time generating reports that they fail to generate actionable insights. They’re often forced to refresh a large amount of reports instead of proactively seeking out new opportunities. It is something we pretty often with new customers at Bedrock. Once they start with Bedrock we streamline their reporting from Excel to our visualization solution, which was built by seasoned CPG analysts to help CPG brands overcome these roadblocks.

CPG analysts spend too much time on reporting

In most CPG settings, analysts spend roughly 80 percent of their time on generalized data reporting tasks. Each instance requires an analyst to pull datasets from a syndicated source, extract the necessary metrics, and translate them into a presentable format. This process typically must be completed in full for each of the following:

  • Brand and item ranking reports: A ranking that summarizes the performance of brands or individual products, either at the account or channel level.
  • Market share reports: A report that analyzes the percentage of a company’s sales against total sales within a given industry or category.
  • Locating distribution voids: Major opportunities are often measured in terms of distribution gaps. Examples include specific retailers or regions where your product isn’t available, or locations where a particular category has room to grow.
  • Bump charts: These charts visualize how products sales trend over time, usually a 52 week period. Bump charts are often generated on a weekly basis, and can track sales, shipments, spending, profits, and other measures.
  • Ad hoc information requests: Informal requests for additional brand or product information that doesn’t fall within the purview of a specific report.

Speaking directly to that last point, ad hoc requests can arrive at any time, and servicing them is extremely inefficient. It’s not unusual for analysts to complete a previously mentioned report, only for a sales executive to request new data that starts the data gathering process over again. What results is a constant spin between the organization and analyst to repeatedly pull this data.

CPG analysts should be focused on insights

What’s required is a data solution that speeds up the reporting process. With better data visualization tools, analysts can reduce their reporting time from 80% to 20% of their overall work. This frees them to focus on higher-level insights, the most important of which are utilized in an analyst framework — the 4 P’s, commonly known as AMPS or MAPS in the CPG industry:

  • Product: Features associated with your product itself, such as size, packaging, and intended category
  • Price: The at shelf price of a product located at any retailer
  • Promotion: How promotional activity for a product influence overall sales of a product
  • Place: Where your products are located in terms of retail storefronts, category locations, and shelf placements.

High-powered analytics solutions have benefits beyond analyst teams. The Bedrock platform is built to be used by anyone in your organization, enabling them to look up data points themselves. It even lets executives with no data background generate visualizations with a few simple clicks. This eliminates the need for ad hoc requests entirely, freeing analysts to focus on finding new opportunities.

Why are analysts so valuable to CPG businesses?

The traditional approach of downloading records, creating pivot tables, and constantly generating reports is just reporting. The analyst’s true goal beyond reporting is to find insights that can be used to drive the most effective business strategies. Bedrock helps by augmenting these reporting tasks, and empowering analysts to build more impactful decks and supercharge your presentations.

At Bedrock, we’ve seen almost all of our customers come in with underdeveloped insights driven analytical processes. For example, Prosperity Organics (maker of the wildly popular Melt butter alternative) saw an 80% reduction in time spent generating reports. CPG visualization solutions don’t replace analysts, they make your analytical insights more precise and effective.

Analysts who use Bedrock have a very different workload than the example described at the top of this post. Data reporting tasks can be saved as visualization charts and tables for future use. Ad hoc requests take almost no time to complete. Yet as time spent on reports is reduced, analysts will generate more impactful insights than ever before. This makes analysts better at their jobs and more valuable to their organizations.

CPG manufacturers will always need analysts who can help brands expand and thrive. With Bedrock’s, analysts’ efforts will be supercharged to their full potential. For more information on how Bedrock can improve your analytical contributions, contact us about a product demo today.