Big Data has won bragging rights in terms of being the most important piece of the retail marketing puzzle in the twenty-first century. But as leadership and marketers are continually bombarded with waves of useful information from their retail analytics software, it can be difficult to determine where one’s focus should be, and even more importantly, what it all means.

Each retail company will have a different campaign and different business goals. But there are some key pieces of information that your software will deliver that deserve greater attention than others. We’ll take a look at three of them in this post.

1. Inefficient Flow of Inventory

Where proper retail data analytics really saves businesses time and capital is in maintenance of stock. Not only will retail analytics software immediately alert a business owner of when a certain item needs to be restocked, but it will also indicate in which location.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small local outfit or a national chain—if you have more than one store, it’s highly likely that some products in one store will sell at a faster rate than in other stores. Having the information on-hand about what sells well and where, as well as how quickly, not only helps save you the bad PR (and lack of revenue), but also, it guarantees a better assortment of products from your vendors. It also allows you to best allocate company resources, whether that be for other inventory or for other business needs.

Best yet, many systems offer supplier data sharing. This means that businesses today can keep tabs on their inventory levels across each and every store that they sell through. Furthermore, suppliers now see how quickly their products sell-through and in what intervals, allowing them to accurately predict the ebbs and flows of their business.

2. Poor Promotional Spending

Every year, thousands of businesses and organizations build promotional strategies somewhat blindly because they don’t fully understand what’s working and what’s not. In the past, this was largely due to insufficient methods to amalgamate internal and external data and have it produce accurate answers to specific questions. Today, with up-to-the-minute retail data analytics available to retailers and vendors, there’s no longer an excuse to take those shots in the dark.

Rather, modern intuitive software offers businesses insight into how their customers are likely to behave and under which circumstances. Savvy marketers and business owners can capitalize on these insights and optimize their promotional spending since they can now see which promotional strategies are encouraging their customers to take action, and which are being ignored. The data even allows for businesses to segregate and create customer groups, giving companies the opportunity to significantly boost their marketing ROI by creating more cost-effective, relevant, and actionable offers for various targeted groups of individuals.

3. Inventory Bottlenecks and Inefficiencies

Having a fresh flow of real-time data allows for leadership to immediately identify unnecessary hurdles in their current business workflows. Retail analytics vendors have created systems which are able to highlight these bottlenecks based on statistical evidence. For example: Data will indicate certain products or categories that are regularly delayed or behind (this may be due to vendor lead times, logistical delays, or even store-level execution). Retail analytics can help leadership uncover areas where there may be too much of a bottleneck, or discover products that are flowing too often and sitting idle in the warehouse.

Innovation in retail is all about building better processes. When properly aligned, organizations can harness the benefits of this technology by coupling it with human interaction to capitalize on the best opportunities for their business. Whether on the go and using retail analytics mobile software or scrutinizing the data on your computer screen, this intuitive software alerts leadership to any red flags, indicating the possible need for creative business solutions and helping to keep your business ahead of the curve.