Data Harmonization is Essential for CPGs

Bedrock Analytics

by Bedrock Analytics

August 23, 2022

Data harmonization is the process of unifying and synthesizing differing data sets — fields, formats, dimensions, columns, and other characteristics — into one aligned data set. This process is essential to fully utilize the data available and to be able to capture trends and gain insights from the data. Having a unified data set is also critical for keeping all members of the organization on the same page.

Since CPG brands source data from a variety of syndicated data providers and retail portals, it is common for data discrepancies to occur since the data providers are dependent on consistent and clean data from their retail partners.  Not all retailers have the infrastructure & processes to deliver consistent data streams.  In addition, with the exception of some key retailers, many of the core measures are actually derived from projections on sampled stores which can lead to differences between Nielsen & IRI (depending on their projection models). 

The act of harmonizing data sets also isn’t a simple process to be mashed together in Excel, Tableau or PowerBI. It is a necessary and continuous task that needs to be applied to all data sets so proper analyses can be done. Harmonizing data can be a tedious and error-prone manual process without the proper tools in place.

Why Data Harmonization is Essential

The CPG industry is constantly undergoing massive shifts. Having an accurate data set and focusing on data analytics is necessary for brands to gain a competitive edge. Data harmonization improves the quality, accuracy, and utility of CPG data. Unifying the various data sources into a singular data set makes retail and sales data “analysis ready”. 

For CPGs to get an accurate full picture of their current landscape, harmonizing the data is a must. But that isn’t the only reason that CPGs need to harmonize data.

Data harmonization reduces data discrepancies

It is only natural that different sources will have different formats, even for what is largely the same data being recorded. Different retailers may use different labels and values for what is the same metric as another source. Without unifying the data set and accounting for these variances errors can occur in the analysis. These errors can lead to uninformed decision-making and wasted time and effort, leading to costly mistakes. 

Data harmonization improves data quality and accuracy

Going through the process of harmonizing data improves the quality of the data being used, resulting in greater accuracy in analyses. By incorporating all sources of data and matching the appropriate picture, brands can get a more accurate representation of performance for each analysis. This also improves the efficiency of analyses, by reducing the error of selecting data across multiple sources and sets. Many times, a data source will restate their historical data when there is an error in the figures.  Data harmonization would typically catch the anomaly.

Data harmonization makes it easier for any department to utilize

Unifying the data into one location gives everyone a singular point of view and single source of truth. Rather than different departments working in silos and compiling their own data set, harmonizing the data can keep all departments working from the same master set and improve accuracy and consistency throughout the organization.

Bedrock Analytics Makes Data Harmonization Easy

Bedrock Analytics is a CPG data analytics platform that leverages AI and machine learning to harmonize data from any source, saving your sales and analyst teams countless hours and manual labor and allowing them to actually spend time understanding and working with the data. The Bedrock platform takes on the heavy-lifting so brands don’t have to. CPG brands just import their data sets into the Bedrock Platform and the software does the rest!  The platform is updated as new data sets are available.

Bedrock’s dynamic dashboard takes your fully harmonized data and presents it in a simple, user-friendly interface that can be fully customized to show the most meaningful data insights for each user. The Bedrock Platform is the leading sales analytics platform in the CPG industry. 

Book a demo today and see how Bedrock streamlines data harmonization!