There’s certain obviousness to the relationship between business analytics and operational efficiency in retail and hospitality. It goes without saying, for instance, that the more data buyers have about the sell-through rate of a certain SKU, the more efficient their POs will be. Or that the more finite the finance department’s view into labor spend, the more accurate its labor forecasts and budgets will be. Detailed analytics can improve even the most granular processes and decisions—if you know how many cheeseburgers John sold during last Tuesday’s lunch hour, for instance, you can improve the efficiency of your food ordering, preparation, labor, and marketing operations. These examples barely scratch the surface. Troves of actionable information that positively impact every facet of the retail or hospitality business can be unlocked with strong data analysis.
Why, then, are so few retail and hospitality businesses optimizing the efficiency of their operations by leveraging data they already have and applying analytics? In short, because doing so has traditionally been complex work.