• As a retailer, it can be difficult to do your job when there are multiple sources of data that everyone on your team is using. 
  • Siloed data prevents effective analysis of business performance as you cannot easily access and draw insights. 
  • Having data in one unified “data lake” helps break down these silos. 
  • Along with a unified data lake, you need to contextualize your internal data with external market data for a complete view of what is happening. 
  • Finally, by visualizing your data through a BI tool, you and your team can extract actionable insights and make better, data-driven decisions.



Introduction: Democratizing Data

Are you struggling to find time in your day to sift through endless amounts of data, manipulate it, build reports, and draw insights? Have you ever dreamed of having one accessible source of truth, integrating both internal and market data? 

If you have found yourself in a meeting where every team member referencing different data sources, you understand the need for one connected source of data so everyone is aligned and decisions can be made quickly and accurately.

In today’s data-driven world, retailers are constantly seeking ways to gain a competitive edge. One of the most powerful strategies is to combine internal data with external market data in a singular place that everyone within your organization can access and draw insights from more easily. Imagine having your internal business insights seamlessly integrated with the broader market context. This connection leads to more informed decisions and improved business outcomes. By integrating and democratizing data with retail analytics software, you and your team are able to access data in a single source of truth and find all of the necessary insights to make smart merchandising, buying, and pricing decisions in one place.

The Journey From Siloed Data to Integrated Insights

To get to the end goal of integrating and democratizing data across your organization, the first step is breaking down silos and connecting data across channels and teams. Siloed data refers to the practice of storing data in separate, isolated places based on their sources or departments within an organization. This data isolation creates barriers between teams, hindering effective collaboration and decision-making. It often leads to inefficiencies, redundant efforts, and an incomplete view of the business landscape.

Siloed data not only prevents holistic analysis of performance, making it difficult to see the bigger picture, but it also makes accessing data more difficult for everyone within your business. By bringing all data together in one place, you can democratize data, allowing everyone to access the insights they need.

The Power of a Unified Data Lake

The transition from siloed data to a unified data lake marks a pivotal moment in the process of democratizing data. A data lake is a centralized repository that allows organizations to store structured and unstructured data at any scale. It breaks down data silos, enabling different teams to access and analyze data from various sources in a unified manner.

The importance of this shift cannot be overstated. With a data lake, data science teams can support wider business teams in uncovering insights and discovering correlations that were previously invisible. This availability of data fosters innovation and empowers your teams with a 360-degree view of the organization’s internal metrics.

What Else Feeds Into a Data Lake? ​​Tapping Into External Market Data

Once you have access to all of your business’s internal data in one unified data lake, what comes next? 

While internal data is crucial, the integration of external market data from a retail analytics solution completes the picture and fills any informational gaps. External data encompasses a wide range of sources, including economic indicators, industry trends, social sentiment, and competitive analysis. This data provides context as to what is happening within your business and helps answer “why.”

For example, think about how helpful seeing weather data relative to previous years would be to analyzing performance. You could answer questions like, “Why were my outerwear sales down versus last year?” Connected data might show you that this decrease is due to unseasonably warm weather. This integrated data helps you not only understand the “why” behind your performance, but also the “what next” to make more informed decisions to boost sales going forward. 

By analyzing market and internal data concurrently, you can identify shifts in consumer preferences, understand competitor strategies, and predict demand fluctuations. This holistic understanding is essential for making proactive decisions that align with the market’s dynamics. 

From Insights to Action: Visualizing Data To Drive Action

The ultimate goal of democratizing and connecting data is to increase access to information and make it faster and easier to translate insights into action. Data without visible, actionable insights is like a compass without a map – sure, you know which way is north, but you have no clue if north is even the way you need to go. 

Once you have combined your internal data with market data, the next step is being able to effectively visualize this information. By bringing data from in-house or cloud databases into your business intelligence solutions such as Tableau, you are able to visualize all of your data in a comprehensive view. By implementing retail analytics software, you can develop processes to visualize and extract actionable insights from your integrated data and use them to make informed decisions. 

For example, if you are a sportswear retailer, by overlaying external sports data alongside internal and competitor sales data, you can get an understanding of how the Women’s World Cup affects soccer jersey sales based on a team’s performance throughout the tournament. This connected data would provide insight into what jerseys your competitors are selling, when you should promote jerseys from a specific country, and how much product to stock according to win rates and consumer sentiment. With these insights, you are able to take actionable steps to improve your assortment and promotional activity, driving a more customer-centric strategy and greater profitability. 

Conclusion: Unlocking Potential with Integrated Data Insights

In the ever-evolving retail landscape, democratized and connected data is vital to success. The journey from siloed data to integrated insights is the first step in enabling your organization to harness the full potential of its data. Coupling this transformation with combined internal and external data sources allows your business to gain a competitive advantage, adapt to market changes, and make decisions rooted in both historical context and current trends.

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of integrated and democratized data firsthand, start by exploring EDITED’s AI-driven solution. EDITED Data does the heavy lifting of centralizing and enriching your data as well as building reports so you can find and use these insights without hours of manual data analysis, allowing you to focus on driving action.