Insights at the Speed of Business: Why C-Stores need Answers Now

In the fast-paced realm of c-store retail, the demand for actionable insights has surged. However, many retailers overlook the complexity of accessing and utilizing data efficiently. While some cling to the belief that insights are easily attainable with effort, the truth often contradicts this assumption. As the CEO of a prominent data analytics company noted, “Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their guts. They will be either lucky or wrong.” Why can’t convenience retailers simply make informed decisions?

When faced with issues requiring prompt decisions, the manual, labor-intensive process of data extraction, manipulation, and analysis becomes a significant barrier, often resulting in decisions based on intuition rather than informed perspectives. The crucial element in this equation is “time to insight,” as pertinent information swiftly becomes outdated before thorough analysis can be completed. For convenience retailers to unlock the true value stored in their data, their teams need Answers Now.

The Journey from Raw Data to Insights

Convenience stores accumulate terabytes of new raw data everyday. With each transaction, data is spread across various technology systems like Back Office, POS, Loyalty, and ATG. Integrating this data necessitates multiple steps before analysis can even commence. The journey from aggregated raw data to insights is intricate, involving tasks such as data cleaning, categorization, and thorough analysis. Without adequate tools and technologies, this process becomes excessively time-consuming, error-prone, and may yield only fragmented insights. Data insight platforms are reshaping this approach by offering streamlined solutions that facilitate real-time aggregation and AI-driven analysis, thereby extracting maximum value from data. 

 

“My team was skeptical about adopting a new software system. But now that we have experienced the power of real-time data in our business, we will never go back. Taiga’s Front Office Platform has revolutionized the way we operate.”

 

Jason Wittekind, COO, Triumph Energy

 

Crucially, the final step involves data visualization, ensuring insights are presented in an easily understandable and actionable manner for every team member. Envision the potential for your business to thrive when informed decisions are just a click away.

The Perceived Skills Gap

“The analytics software that is Taiga pulls data in real time. It is user friendly and what you can access in real time is unbelievable”

Dave Linder, General Manager,  Mach 1 Stores

When introducing our platform to a new retailer, there’s often an initial assumption that deploying a data insight platform like Taiga would entail significant effort. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Unlocking actionable insights doesn’t demand a team of SQL experts and Data Scientists. Let our automated technology handle the heavy lifting for you. A typical implementation takes less than 90 days from project kickoff to providing data-driven insights for all 

team members, irrespective of their technical proficiency. By bridging the skills gap, Taiga empowers retailers to fully leverage their data’s potential without the necessity of hiring additional technology experts.

The Strategic Advantage of Insight-Driven Organizations

In conclusion, insight-driven organizations hold a strategic advantage in the competitive landscape of convenience retail. By prioritizing actionable insights and investing in the right tools and technologies, retailers can unlock new opportunities for growth and success. With Taiga, the path to informed decisions is streamlined, saving valuable time and delivering Answers Now. It’s time to embrace the power of insights and propel your business forward.

Demystifying “Data Driven” Transformation: A Roadmap for Success

Over the past year, “becoming data driven” has been a central theme at industry events and in industry publications.  The term “digital transformation” has been used to describe the journey from the manual, the analog, and the traditional, towards a future where data is not merely present, but deeply integrated and actively working for us. This transformation promises not just enhanced revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction, but also a profound change in how businesses operate.  For many operators, it sounds too complicated or simply too good to be true – particularly after previous experience with technology vendors that have over-promised and under-delivered.

The purpose of this post is not to sell you on the concept, which has been done ad nauseam, but to make it approachable, understandable, and less daunting. Here’s how you can break down the process into manageable steps and key considerations for a successful digital transformation.

Steps to Digital Transformation

 

1. Selecting Your Partner

Choosing the right partner for your digital transformation is like choosing a co-pilot for a cross-country road trip. It’s not just about the vehicle but also about the company you’ll keep.

a. Cost  Consider the financial investment and the time commitment required from your team.

Is the cost justifiable based on the projected outcomes? 

Will your team need to sideline other projects to implement and learn to use these new systems?

b. Capability  Investigate the full range of what the product can do.  

Is it designed specifically for convenience retailers?  

Does it have existing integrations with the systems that are already in use at your business?

c. Collaboration  Evaluate the implementation process, customer support and partnership you’ll receive. 

Will your vendor lead you through this transformation step by stem or will they simply provide the necessary technology?

Will you have access to training, customer service, and technical support when you need it? 

Our industry is evolving quickly and modern technology solutions have to keep up. Will you be charged for future enhancements and upgrades to the system that you have chosen?

 

2. Sorting Out Your Data

“Good Data” is the fuel for your digital engine. If it’s unrefined or improperly cataloged, it will cause your engine to seize up rather than increasing your horsepower and performance.

a. Real-Time Integration  Data that is days or weeks old will not allow you to take action and address issues before they become big problems.   

b. Cataloging  The NACS Standard of Categorization allows you to perform analysis down to the SKU level.

c. Tailored Solutions  Look for a solution that was purpose built for the convenience store industry. Off-the-Shelf products require huge amounts of customization and integration work.

A convenience specific solution should enable you to analyze promotions, price items, analyze market baskets and prevent losses. 

3. Getting Everyone On Board

Remember, technology is a tool, not a solution. The most advanced systems are worthless if your team isn’t using them.

a. Effort to Implement  How long will it take to integrate with your existing technologies and get the system up and running?

Assess how the technology will be adopted by the users. Your solution provider should have a proven process for implementation, training and the ongoing utilization for each of your user groups.

b. Automate Manual Reporting Technology that can replace batch data extraction and manipulation in Excel will free up time and resources. So does this save time extracting and manipulating data and will it be in real time?

c. Simplifying Other Tasks Consider what other business problems your new technology can solve. What other tasks could be made easier? Pricing? Inventory management? Can the solution help with these tasks? 

 

Embracing digital transformation can be daunting, yet with the right partner, organized data, and user adoption, substantial benefits await within 90 days. Careful partner selection and data organization, coupled with driving user adoption, pave the way for success. Contact Taiga to discuss how we can partner with you on this transformative journey.