Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies realize that deep analytics capabilities can be a key differentiator in today’s competitive marketplace; accordingly, they are making analytics-related investments in talent, tools, data and systems to deliver on that promise. Yet according to recent Accenture research, many companies struggle to maximize value from these investments—in part, because of the inability to take a coordinated, enterprise-wide approach supported by a clearly defined operating model.
Most consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are at an early stage in their analytics journey. The uptake of analytics in the industry is accelerating, to be sure, but a recent research study from Accenture—Building an Analytics-Driven Organization—has found that the majority of CPG companies have been slow to put analytics at the heart of decision making and of operations, limiting their ability to gain business advantage.
Accenture’s analysis also suggests that the problem, in many cases, is compounded by fragmented investments in narrowly defined programs that are not well coordinated and not based on a wider, enterprise-level view and operating model. This lack of an enterprise-wide analytics vision and operating model often results in pockets of unconnected analytics capabilities, redundant initiatives that do not come to fruition, underutilized analytics talent and, perhaps most important, limited returns on analytics investments.
In addition, the study reveals that the analytics functions of many CPG companies are merely descriptive in nature rather than predictive. That is, they are generating hindsight views of what has happened instead of forward-looking insights that can be used to make well-informed operational, managerial and strategic decisions.
Here are important factors for CPG executives to bear in mind as they consider how to get started down the right analytics path: