The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods industry is exciting, yet volatile. The pace of change means that it is imperative that decision-makers are equipped with the right insight at the right time. This flow of FMCG insights enables leaders to identify and capture growth opportunities, as well as substantiating bold strategic choices.
The status quo
However, the methods used to generate performance insights in the industry have hardly changed in the last decades. The heavy reliance on manual data analysis and reporting has remained, while the volume and complexity of data grow exponentially. As a result, leaders cannot access all the insights they need on-demand, and revenue opportunities are missed. The workforce is consumed with spreadsheets and number-crunching at the expense of more valuable and essential human activity.
Organisations that solve this conundrum and equip all of their staff with on-demand insights will be those best placed to drive revenue growth & market share in an uncertain world. Mckinsey recently determined that 75% of ‘winning’ FMCG companies are sharing key data with their retailers every single week.
So what are the key issues that are making manual insight generation increasingly less viable?
Growth in Volume of Data
Firstly, syndicated sales audit data (such as Nielsen / IRI) has always been at the heart of understanding sales performance in FMCG. However, now there is the added challenge to connect the dots with numerous other sources, like;
- Shopper Panel Data (such as Kantar / GfK)
- Consumption Panel Data
- Retailer Loyalty Data
- Retail Link (retailer EPOS data)
- Brand trackers
- Promotional data
- Weather data
This has meant that insights experts must determine true insight from a wealth of sources, all demanding different training and skillsets to use.
Manual Data Stitching
All industries recognise the importance of connecting data to derive real insight. Yet in FMCG, key data sources tend to still be stored and accessed separately via their own portals.
The complexity of extracting, analysing, connecting and reporting on change across these datasets is huge and time consuming. Far from making insight available to all, on demand, we have narrowed insight’s domain to the few not the many.
Simply put – we can’t expect a select few experts to put together the variety of insights stories we need for a universal and holistic understanding of performance.
3 Key Challenges of Manual Analysis
1. Divided Attention
There is never enough resource to tackle all the questions completely. The key stakeholders, biggest customers and biggest brands are generally well served – but those smaller customers and brands (often key sources of future growth) are under-served.
2. Demand peak
In busy periods and times of market ‘shock’, the bottleneck of having all questions tackled through a small team of experts means companies can be slow to learn and adapt.
3. Unfamiliar lines of enquiry
Real insight discoveries often happen when taking unfamiliar paths through the data. However, when pushed for time, people naturally follow the more familiar routes. As a result, new, more nuanced patterns of performance are easily missed.
Life in an insight team is stressful and hectic. There is more demand than there is capacity to deliver, and employee engagement & performance can suffer. Humans are brilliant connectors, creators and storytellers. However, they can only do this if some of the burden of manual analysis is lifted.
Interrodata is here to support leaders who see this need for change. We help clients such as Coca-Cola European Partners realise their vision of an insights-led culture. We’re empowering more people across their business to move to action fast, based on a universal understanding of the drivers of business performance.
- Kari Alldredge, Jen Henry, Julie Lowrie, Antonio Rocha, Mckinsey & Company, , Winning in consumer packaged goods through data and analytics, https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/winning-in-consumer-packaged-goods-through-data-and-analytics
- Milan Listes, Beterna,  In the FMCG Industry, BI Ensures Quick Wins, https://www.be-terna.com/insights/in-the-fmcg-industry-bi-ensures-quick-wins