Analytics in distribution has certainly grown in importance. More distributors are trying to figure out how and where to effectively apply data analysis throughout their businesses. But what’s driving the interest and why is analytic capability so important today?
The importance, according to Tom Gale, publisher of Modern Distribution Management and executive editor of the Distributor's Guide to Analytics, is centered on all the changes that have taken place in the distribution business model.
In 1998, the book Who Moved My Cheese? focused on the ability to be adaptive in business, Gale says in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing. "I would say that in 2015, it's really about 'Who moved my model?'"
The industry – and more broadly, how business is done – has undergone significant shifts, from globalization changing the traditional definitions of geographic markets to digital shifts that have changed how people interact with each other. Adaptability isn't enough anymore; distributors have to base how they adapt on data. They must have a foundation from which to understand and judge what's really happening within their businesses.
And that's why analytics is so important, Gale says. It provides that foundation based on data that allows for better "qualitative judgment" about what's happening in the business. And it allows business owners to better assess the best course of action.
Hear more from Gale and three other contributors to the Distributor's Guide to Analytics about the role of analytics in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing, available now.
Learn more about the Distributor's Guide to Analytics in the MDM Store.