Data, data, data. We hear more and more everyday about how data analytics is crucial to winning in today’s retail game. But with so many providers bombarding you with calls and emails, how do you cut through the noise to find the right provider for you?
1. Does this provider understand the fashion industry?
You want a certified personal trainer who knows how optimize your exercise routine to turn your muffin top into a six-pack, right? So why wouldn’t you want the same in a data analytics provider?
A provider is your partner. Having a provider who understands the fashion world means two things. First, the insights delivered are relevant and actionable, and two, the provider can help when you have a challenging business question to answer. The business processes and decision-making behind selling a blender are very different from selling outerwear, and the data output needs to address the questions and analyses specific to fashion retail professionals.
2. Can they help me with my analysis?
Understanding the fashion industry alone isn’t enough to be helpful. Whether you are just starting out or you are an expert analyst, your provider should be your guide, support, and problem-solving partner. If you are new to competitive analysis, your provider should guide you through industry best practices to get you up to speed as fast as possible. If you are already an expert, your provider should be your brainstorming and problem-solving partner to tackle tricky, difficult analyses.
3. Is this information presented in a way that is easy for me to understand and deliver to colleagues?
Every organization is a little bit different and may need the data delivered in different ways.
Does this provider pre-package all the important analyses to minimize the time and effort required from you? For example, if your job consists of tracking how the prices and styles of denim evolve in the fast fashion segment -- is there a way to quickly find the answer to that without drowning in an excel spreadsheet?
What if you want the information in nice visuals so you can present to senior management to emphasize your findings? Can this solution deliver an easy way to incorporate visual graphs into Power Point?
What about when you already have all your internal data in a nice, neat Excel? Can the provider deliver the competitive data in an Excel format to easily include in your preset templates?
4.What kind of information (aka data points) do they offer?
Let’s really get into the weeds here. There are many providers out there who claim they can give you data on retailers. But the key point here is to be very specific. Ask them to clearly outline what is included in the data they provide. And another key consideration is whether they do the dirty work of making that data usable, so you can spend your time on what matters: making decisions that impact your business.
We've made a handy checklist for you.
If the answers to all of the above questions are a resounding yes, you are in great shape and on track to finding the right partner. And if not, we can help you get there. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.