Globalising EPOS Data

Globalising Electronic Point of Sale data.

Electronic point of sale, Alteryx

With everything going on in  the world and the impact on the retail sector in particular, the importance of easy access to timely data is ever more important than ever.

As a business, the we have access to a trove of Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) data from many of its retailers, along with wider data sets of market performance of competitors. Using Alteryx, they've been able to visualise data to provide an enhanced view of their operations at a global level, while adding increased visibility and access across the entire organisation. 

The Challenge

As a consumer packaged goods manufacturer, data is provided from retailers in relation to sales data from stores (EPOS). We receive EPOS data from over 50 retailers, across three regions (EMEA, US and APAC).  That's data for over 4500 stores global, resulting in hundreds of thousands of new rows of data on a weekly basis. Each retailer provides data in different formats. This results in a challenging, time consuming and manual process to collate and blend all these data sources to provide any meaningful analytics.
 
Data is manually merged, tweaked and processed retailer by retailer, region by region, providing very specific views of performance in isolation to each other.  It's difficult to see the global picture, or in some cases, even the regional level without considerable manual effort and Excel manipulation.

 
The solution

Until Alteryx, this global picture was impossible to achieve within the business. Alongside retailer data, the business subscribes to various 'market share' data services, which provides a view of the 'sector' for all major brands. This data impacts all aspects of the business, from sales, commercial, demand and supply, trade marketing, New Product development and Category through to C-level executives. 
 
The Global Data Innovation team were tasked with bringing all these data sources in to a single 'Global' view as part of a wider Digital Transformation and Data program.  With the objective of providing self service analytics of not only retailer EPOS data but global market analysis data in one place.    
 
Our data is received from multiple sources in various formats (mdb, xlsx., csv.)
1. Alteryx Server is utilised as the core 'Data engine' of our Insights platform, blending and preparing data for consumption through Qlik Sense.

Retailer 1
Retailer 2
Retailer 3
Retailer 4

2. Data is stored internally within our data center.

3. Qlik Sense is utilised as the analytics and visualisation platform for business user access to the data.

What's been achieved?

Automated extraction, processing and consolidation of around data 50 sources, reducing manual data preparation. Processing data in under 1 hr., compared to the previous manual process which involved more than 10 users spending a day or two each month pulling and processing data.
Removal of data silos, building a centralised (one version of the truth) view of the global EPOS activity, accessible to all.   Once all this processing is complete, the EPOS data is surfaced up to the user community through Qlik Sense apps.  Providing intuitive, quick to hand, powerful analytics capabilities on a self-serve basis, democratising data to the users who need it, when the need it.


What next?


The future of analytics is the driving force behind the digital journey we are on as a business, we are constantly horizon scanning for the next step in our journey.  Be it Chat Bots, Assisted Machine Learning, prescriptive analytics or augmented reality or any of the multitude of developments within Analytics, always looking to the next steps enhances the excitement to what we do. Seeing how our users get excited about what we are doing, their enthusiasm and how our solutions are making their work life easier, is the core to what excites me about the future of Analytics. 






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