Coping with Change: Why Data Analytics alone is no longer enough

Coping with Change: How Data Analytics alone is no longer enough

Data Analytics has long been recognised as a valuable tool for manufacturers and suppliers to understand their market and respond to change.

Ironically working practices in FMCG have, by today’s standards, been far from fast-moving.

Response and re-alignment has, for many decades, felt very dynamic to those involved in the Grocery Retail space. It’s only now, in this new age of super-fast change and intense volatility, that we realise what came before was comparatively slow and generally reactive. In a similar style to the evolution of our planet, the vast majority of significant developments have happened relatively recently. Whatever your view on the evolutionary scale – and whether you’d consider the last 2 million years as just a moment in the Earth’s 4.6 billion year history – we can probably all agree that the pace of change is likely to continue to increase exponentially…

Change itself has changed.

In these most peculiar of times, change has taken a new form. The rate of change has been fast, and its magnitude enormous. The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used an unprecedented number of times for good reason. Covid, Brexit, the cost of living squeeze, and the supply chain restraints resulting from the situation in Ukraine, have collectively introduced a series of never-before-imagined volatilities which manufacturers and retailers have to contend with on a daily, almost hourly, basis. It’s the clichéd ‘perfect storm’ which has produced far-from-perfect trading conditions for every sector. And this means that a whole new magnitude of change is now required to those widely used commercial processes which have stood manufacturers in reasonably good stead up to now.

We’re data rich but failing to capitalise on its true value.

On a positive note, there is now more data available than ever before and access to business intelligence tools and skills is practically limitless. However, in order to truly harness and reap the benefits of this deep and growing reservoir of knowledge, individual teams in grocery retail will need to take an entirely new approach. Continuing to handle and consider data and commercial intelligence in the traditional way, within hundreds of Excel spreadsheets generated and analysed in separate business silos, will yield traditional results. And those traditional results simply won’t be enough to allow enterprises to survive, let alone thrive, in these times of rapid change.

What is the answer to overcoming today’s many challenges?

We believe that it is a case of working smarter. To capitalise on the wealth of information available and use it to gain real commercial advantage there’s a need to open it up to every team and every decision within your organisation. At Clearbox we call it Collaborative Intelligence and our clients use it to unlock opportunities, uplift volume, increase revenue, boost profits and win market share.

We’re helping manufacturers do it on a daily basis and we’re happy to discuss how it works in practice and how it could be applied to your existing and in-pipeline data analytics projects.

Visit to find out more or get in touch to start a conversation.