An effective process for analyzing data


Retail is a data driven business so it should follow that the more data you have the better. Not necessarily so if your not looking at in the right context. We tend to look at data at that moment in time and not in an historical perspective. If you’re a baseball fan you live and die with numbers comparing one player to another based on a bunch of key indicators. By using a fixed a set of comparables a fan or baseball executives are able to compare a player’s value more accurately. The same principle hold true in retail. By using a fixed set of numbers and entering into a spreadsheet you can create a document that is a very effective management tool. As an example by entering  your December “key numbers “ numbers into a spreadsheet you can analyze them and compare them to past Decembers.  Here’s a list of some of the key numbers I recommend you look at:

 Sales in dollars  -Total number of sale-  Average sale –  Number of items on a sale- GM per sale – Payroll as a % of sales – Value of inventory at retail at the end of month

 Obviously you can add other numbers that you feel are important but the process allows you to have a monthly performance monitor that provides are comprehensive look at your business. Why enter them manually into a spreadsheet rather then automating the process because it makes you focus on the numbers are you enter them. Old school I know