A data-driven culture bases its decisions on data instead of intuition or gut instinct. How can you implement these practices in your CPG organization?

How to Create A Data-Driven Culture in Your CPG Company

Bedrock Analytics

by Bedrock Analytics

April 10, 2020

Bedrock’s Key Takeaways

  1. A data-driven culture bases its decisions on data instead of intuition or gut instinct
  2. Creating a data-driven culture starts with leadership that encourages and supports data use in the organization
  3. CPG companies must consider the unique data needs of the industry, which demands a specialized combination of sales, opportunity, and competitive metrics

The Importance of Data to CPG Businesses

These days, every company needs to be data-driven to succeed — even (and especially) CPG companies. Unfortunately, becoming data-driven doesn’t happen by itself. While most brands acknowledge that data is essential to grow and thrive, only 48% consider themselves competitive in the space.

One reason for this disconnect is that, even if businesses have data, they don’t necessarily have a data-driven culture. A CPG organization that purchases the most powerful analytics platform and utilizes a robust data set from multiple sources will still be at a loss if it cannot leverage them properly. Cultivating a data-driven culture requires team members from all levels of the company to commit to securing high-quality data, and employing data-driven decision making processes. 

The good news is that such a commitment often generates short and long-term benefits for the entire business.

What is a Data-Driven Culture?

One Cognizant 20-20 report defines a data-driven culture as “a workplace environment that employs a consistent, repeatable approach to tactical and strategic decision making through emphatic and empirical data proof. Put simply, it’s an organization that bases decisions on data, not gut instinct.”

What sets a data-driven culture apart from a data-driven department is the application across the entire workplace. In the more traditional pockets of the CPG industry, businesses often rely on independent analytics teams to manage and model their data. This model is often far more challenging to achieve in a startup or flattened organizational structure that has little room for independent departments.

On the other hand, businesses of any size can cultivate a data-driven culture if open data access is a crucial component of regular operations. A familiar example from outside the CPG industry is Microsoft, which actively uses analytics tools to ensure all employees are leveraging data in their daily tasks. In fact, Microsoft places a strong emphasis on data access and visualizations.

Data Cultures Start With Leaders

For all the benefits of a data-driven culture, making the leap to build one can be frightening. Data analytics can appear overwhelming at first glance, especially dealing with operating platforms that create models and detailed metrics from gigabytes of spreadsheet data. Modern, user-friendly software can see you through, but someone on the team still needs to take the first step.

The easiest way to forge a data-driven culture is to get company leaders and executives to back the first move. Leaders set the tone for how a business operates, so incorporating data principles in daily work can start to filter its way into the organization. A data-driven leader might use analytics tools for everyday tasks, or incorporate accurate data models into business decisions.

Leaders can also ensure that tools used by their team are user-friendly, reliable, and valuable to the daily tasks of anyone in the organization. Platforms that are cloud-based or require little on-site maintenance are ideal for any brand that wants data to take off quickly. It’s not enough to sponsor any particular data tool or source — leaders need to be an example in showing how it benefits the entire team.

Build a Data-driven Culture That Supports All Employees

While leaders can undoubtedly make use of data tools, members of a company’s rank-and-file will likely use these types of tools far more. For this reason, it’s essential to coordinate with team leads and members to make sure they have the support to leverage it fully.

When establishing a data culture, it can be useful to work closely with the team members who will use a platform the most before purchasing it. 

In the CPG industry, analysts and category managers tend to be the most frequent users of data resources, and will have their own unique insights. They are also ideally positioned to inform leaders what doesn’t work about a data platform — or even the culture itself — so that improvements can be made as needed.

But in modern CPG, sales managers are also expected to have data chops — not necessarily the deep analytical skills of a category manager, but the ability to extract and understand the data’s topline insights, and act accordingly in the field.    

Consider CPG-Specific Data Needs

Many data tools and platforms exist in today’s marketplace, each offering unique features and capabilities. While having choice is a good thing, it does mean businesses must be selective when choosing an analytics solution. Not all platforms are a good fit for every organization — especially if they require an entire dedicated IT department to manage.

Start by choosing an analytics tool that serves your specific industry. Not all analytics solutions are the same, and CPG professionals need tools that integrate with data providers and can harmonize metrics from a variety of syndicators, retailer portals, markets, and channels. Manufacturers will also need to consider sales trends, opportunity gaps, and competitive research within their target category. These specific measurements can be programmed into a general-purpose business intelligence tool, but a CPG-oriented platform can work “out of the box” while saving you time and resources for implementation.

Use a CPG Data Visualization Platform That’s Right For You

Every company needs to be data-driven to succeed in 2020, but it’s far simpler to have the right tool at your disposal. With Bedrock Analytics’ data visualization platform, CPGs can aggregate and harmonize data from multiple sources. This ability lets CPG professionals surface the most relevant insights without any technical knowledge, data expertise, or an internal IT department. What’s more, clients can export these insights as visualizations in any report or presentation deck.

With Bedrock’s products and services, you can quickly establish a new data-driven culture that enhances your entire workplace. Click here for more information or to book a free demo.