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Data, data, data… You can never have enough of it.

When it comes to data there’s a large emphasis on new 3rd party data sets and how they can help enhance real-estate decisions. Clients and potential new partners often ask: “Which data sets can you provide that will help us?”

We believe the best approach is combining internal and external data to get a more holistic and applicable view on your business. The most overlooked part of the data discussion is that a lot of data exists internally within companies. Who holds the keys to it, and how should you leverage those groups?

Merchandising

How can customer sales data be used to better understand assortments or pricing in new retail stores? The data retailers have relating to merchandising, pricing, and even SKU level data can be leveraged and deployed in many ways. Also, depending on the region, assortment allocation can even potentially affect the store square footage footprint.

Operations

Understanding internal data, such as how turnover or changes in store leadership can have an impact on sales, is key. The store variables could be consistent but, without leveraging this data, poor operations can have an impact on performance. As we all know ― a store manager can affect sales performance, and the swings versus forecasts or proformas can be significant.


Marketing

The adage remains ― it costs 10x as much to generate sales from new customers than from existing customers. As companies uncover, understand, and leverage internal data, much of it can be used by marketing to understand, identify, and locate core customers and how to best reach them. Marketing teams can feed promotional event dates for stores or regions. Measuring these events will help identify and quantify specific promotions and correlations with store performance.


Store risk

Feeding internal loss prevention data can help identify store risk. Leveraging this data can identify if the store needs to have merchandise locks, or if specific locations need to hire additional security. Recently, companies started to use this data to switch store hours in high-risk areas ― so they wouldn’t be open after sundown.


The key takeaway

You should make a conscious effort to look internally for data that can help drive insights and decisions. More often than not, when we work with new clients to identify and gather internal data, they’re surprised to find out what they may have available that either was unknown or hard to get.

So, what should you do next? An easy and very valuable project is to talk to internal teams to understand what data you may already have. This could offer insights more valuable than any external data set ― it'll be eye opening, and well worth the effort.