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How Does Your Data Garden Grow?

Short Takes...on Analytics

Posted by Marcus Shingles, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Bombarded with the “new normal” of rapid-pace technological and digital innovation, the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry faces increased pressure to cultivate “Big Data” into useful analytics and insights. Following decades of relatively limited - or linear - change, we are seeing a "knee in the curve" brought on by an exponential amount of small and big data digital exhaust.

Recently, Deloitte in conjunction with the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), conducted a 10-month study, which culminated in a report – Formula for Growth – (Innovation)Big Data & Analytics” – detailing how members may better use analytics for business growth.

While their internal and external data sources have been long seeded and fertilized, some CPG companies have been slow to harvest the rewards of customer analytics. There are real and practical opportunities for CPG companies to achieve top and bottom-line growth by combining innovation and data – both big and small.

The five specific findings of this report are significant, though not completely surprising. Over the last decade, some GMA members have not progressed beyond localized use of analytics and remain reluctant to capitalize on even their existing “small data.” Those few companies that dare to pick the fruits of big data are finding an added advantage by establishing a core competency around analytics. Such analytical competency and maturity may potentially define industry winners.

Previously, a CPG company’s competitive advantage did not necessarily depend on analytical maturity. But the industry’s preconceived notion of change is quickly being challenged and often disrupted by this exponential pace of innovation. The “winners” in CPG may be those companies that quickly navigate this fertile, yet untilled landscape of Big Data and analytics, turning fact-finding into competitive insights. This new formula for growth can have even more impact when applied in a cross-functional, integrated business setting.

For companies with enterprise-wide processes that continuously scan the ecosystem of emerging technologies relevant to the CPG and retail industry, opportunities abound to find innovations that capture old data in new ways. Ways that are faster, cheaper and better than traditional ways. This can provide a leapfrog opportunity for these companies to capitalize on the “first-mover” advantage.

Faced with these new conclusions, CPG companies may be eager to participate in or accelerate their analytics journey. But, they shouldn’t throw caution to the wind. This “exponential” pace of innovation requires a culture of experimentation, trial and error and other methods so that the organization remains agile, fluid and adaptable. Like a gardener tilling, sowing and reaping, this methodical approach may lead to a state of analytical maturity that moves the organization steadily forward on solid ground.

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor.

Deloitte, its affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

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Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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