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An introduction to DataShare

Alex Paterson, Consulting Manager

Retail grocery is a fast paced world.  The past 4 months have highlighted how quickly the industry can react to changes in strategy. This doesn’t happen without considerable dedication and skill of the people behind the scenes at thousands of suppliers across the country.

For several years, our SKUtrak platform has been helping the UK’s FMCG companies understand retailer supply chain and EPOS data, shortcutting the time consuming downloads from portals and challenging insight generation. Our interactive visual analytics are great for instant answers to “standard” questions, incorporating best practice design and proven retail dashboards.

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However, as a dyed in the wool analyst myself, it would be remiss of me to suggest there exists an off-the-shelf dashboard for every situation. True analysts know that changing times require different perspectives, fresh thinking and creative approaches to uncover new insights and provide decision makers with the information required to take decisive action.

What is DataShare?

SKUtrak DataShare gives you direct access to the data that powers your SKUtrak dashboards - enabling you to answer ad-hoc questions, build your own bespoke dashboards or feed your IT systems with fresh, clean, curated data whenever they need it.

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I would be willing to bet that a large part of any curious analyst's career is spent searching for, understanding and cataloguing various data sources, and for good reason: access to and visibility of the raw data keeps your options open - every aggregation helps to answer one or two particular questions at the cost of cutting out multiple other potential analysis routes, resulting in an increasingly broad and esoteric data environment, not to mention more work for the analyst. For this reason, the overburdened analyst has one overriding demand:

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Analysts are key workers in the business decision-making process, sitting at the convergence of dynamic commercial and robust IT worlds, translating between the demanding needs of end business users and the realities and constraints of data systems.

By improving the access to the analyst’s fuel, the data, we believe that you benefit from a multiplier effect, both in terms of the quantity (automated data at the click of a button - build once then re-use over and over) and quality (curated, cleansed  and correct) of your output.

Why DataShare?

Enabling DataShare on your SKUtrak account provides you with dedicated database resources to run lightning-fast queries against a well-organised collection of carefully-designed supply chain and EPOS data tables, covering:

  • The supply of your products into and out of your retailer customers’ depots and stores
  • Depot and store stock levels
  • Waste and availability of every product in store
  • EPOS data of your products at each retailer
  • Sales and order forecasts

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All of this data is detailed down to the individual SKU, for every day, and (if you subscribe to the SKUtrak Professional plan) right down to the individual store. 

As DataShare sits over the same data platform as the rest of SKUtrak, your data is updated automatically - as soon as it's available from the retailer - and comes with the assurance that the data is collected accurately, processed consistently and stored securely.

So SKUtrak performs the monotonous data engineering - all collection, validation and organisation activities - providing you with access to rich, raw data directly inside Excel or any of your favourite BI applications, immediately, at the click of a button, allowing you more time for the important things…

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SKUtrak DataShare ensures your data is:

  • Efficient - collected automatically from retailer systems
  • Robust - current against changing retailer data (we ensure we recover all data from late polling stores)
  • Secure - stored in our secure cloud database providing you with complete control over who can access the data
  • Curated - transparent definition of all database tables and columns
  • Consistent - harmonised across all retailer data sets so that you can build one dashboard and deploy it across multiple retailers with automatic daily updates
  • Accessible - connect with practically any application; Excel, Power BI, Tableau, Qlik etc.

If you want to know more about SKUtrak DataShare and/or how to get access, please contact us.

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