Analysis trumps reporting

Summary reports provide an interesting headline but often fail to convey the detail. When you can explore information with confidence you upgrade from report reader to analytical thinker


Why should I use analytical tools rather than reports to drive deeper understanding?

Reporting is the ubiquitous way that we ask for, and consume, information - so much so that we use "report" and "reporting" without even thinking:

  • "It's in the report!"
  • "Can you run me a report?"
  • "Have you seen the latest report?"

... and reporting is an essential part of the rhythm of every business. It helps us to compare achieved performance with our plans and prior periods, so that we know where we are and can decide whether we need to course correct or not.

But reporting and reports are limited. They either lack the detail and nuance that helps identify the root cause of potential and actual issues, or they are so huge and unwieldy that they become the haystack rather the needle. The chaff and not the wheat.

Identify opportunities for growth
Capitalise on the rise of online shoppers

Moreover, most businesses are drowning in a sea of reports; similar names, similar content, slightly different criteria - dates, regions, categories - different versions, vs last year / forecast / target, multiple copies... the challenges are almost endless. Even entirely digital businesses, where paper has been eliminated, still suffer from endless Excel reports in network drives, Sharepoint folders and on individual computers.

In all of this endless reporting, how often can you quickly identify and act upon immediate issues and mid-term trends? How can you identify your key drivers for growth? Which products, subcategories, brands and customers provide the best mix to meet shopper demand? How can you capitalise on new channels - like the more-than-100% rise in online shopping during 2020 - using your traditional reporting tools and approach?

Reporting works to answer "What?" is happening but not "Why?" or "How?" to respond. How and Why are the domain of analysis and analytics; this is where you need to focus to drive rich and detailed understanding that powers the actionable insights you and your team require to make complex decisions with confidence.

SKUtrak is built, ground up, as a rich, interactive analytics environment. The team behind SKUtrak, at Atheon Analytics, has a wealth of proven expertise in visual analytics, machine learning and retail supply chains. SKUtrak dashboards comprise everything from simple interactive, visual reports - which address the "What's happening?" with ease - through to powerful analytical tools that explore:

  • Which products achieve maximum rate of sale and deserver greater distribution?
  • Where is stock lowest right now, in which products, and what is the sales value at risk?
  • Which stores appear to have sufficient stock but low sales performance which suggests book stock errors?
  • Where is waste greatest and is this a store-type, geographic or product issue?
  • Which promotions have suffered most from too little stock prior to launch or as a result of over-performance?
  • Where should I focus the attention of my field sales, supply chain and account management teams to deliver greatest value?

SKUtrak is the analytical toolset that the modern FMCG uses to understand its Flow-of-Goods performance and communicate this - and the opportunities to optimise it further - to its customers. Join other SKUtrak customers and help your team to make complex decisions with confidence.

On a Monday morning, I am able to know immediately how trading has been over the weekend. I’m not having to wait for someone to extract the data, interpret it and send it to me. The data is also in the same format across all retailers, which is so valuable helping me to compare apples with apples. For example, every retailer's weeks are different, SKUtrak enables me to select calendar months as opposed to retailer weeks. Therefore, I know I can do a straight comparison.

Darren Robinson
Head of Sales

Watch the video:
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