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Research report: Analytics in consumer goods

Accenture research provides insights for consumer CPG companies to improve the execution of analytics in their organization for maximum impact.

Overview

Analytics is today a multibillion-dollar business and CPG companies are making huge investments to build their analytics capabilities. Employees across organizations are collecting and analyzing data to help companies make faster and better-informed decisions, and take concrete actions to improve market performance.

In May 2012, Accenture surveyed more than 75 global CPG companies on their analytics initiatives—where they are in their journey to be more analytics-driven, results so far and the focus of their future investments.

This report highlights key findings from the research and provides recommendations for CPG companies to drive maximum value from analytics.

Background

The goal of our survey was to develop a clear picture of how CPG companies worldwide use analytics and what value they have achieved. Our quantitative online survey targeted senior executives of director level and above—more than 40 percent of the respondents were C-suite members. All the respondents had several years’ experience in the field of analytics and more than 80 percent were solely responsible for commercial analytics activity in their respective companies. We asked the respondents several questions on five areas in analytics:

  • Importance and value of analytics

  • Perceived analytics maturity

  • Analytics data and tools

  • Sponsorship and funding

  • Investment in analytics

Key Findings

  1. Continuing investment in analytics but struggle with execution: Our findings show that the use of analytics is widespread and growing, particularly in larger companies, but there is still a gap in executing value-creating analytics strategies. Also, most of the respondents expected to maintain or increase their investments in analytics next year.

  2. Realigning analytics tools and data to create value: Companies believe that the primary benefit of analytics is supporting growth. A majority of the current analytics activities focus on conducting retrospective financial analysis and managing the channels instead of extracting customer insights to increase market share or expand a product category.

  3. Operationalizing analytics throughout the enterprise: Companies are experimenting with ways of operationalizing analytics throughout their organization and their business networks. They are moving toward centralizing analytics or organizing it as a shared service besides relying on business process outsourcing providers to support analytics.

Recommendations

Our initial recommendations in Moving From Insights to Action: How Commercial Analytics Can Help CPG Companies still hold and the survey’s results support their importance. Based on the findings of our survey, we suggest that CPG companies take the following steps:

  • Develop a cross-functional, integrated analytics vision: Cross-functional analytics provide a holistic picture of consumers and markets, and help the organization balance competing objectives and priorities to increase the overall impact for the company.

  • Prioritize analytics to create value: Focusing analytics on high-value commercial processes, especially those related to anticipating and satisfying demand across multiple channels, will help drive sales and support market share growth.

  • Operationalize analytics throughout the enterprise: Executives need to embed analytics throughout the enterprise—in structure, processes and technology support—to help them gain timely insights and make informed decisions.

Acting on these three recommendations can help companies use analytics more consistently and cost effectively. It can help CPG companies extract meaningful market and shelf-level insights, and take value-creating actions that help drive revenue and improve consumer satisfaction and loyalty.