The Next-Gen. DSR

CPGs have had access to Point of Sale (POS) data now for many years and many of them use a Demand Signal Repository (DSR) to gather, clean and report on this data.  (Actually most of them use a number of DSR's and even when they do have just one, still can't handle truly cross-retailer analytics).  

I've been involved with a number of these systems as a software-buyer, a system-administrator, consultant and most recently, leading the analytic development at Orchestro.  

There are some excellent tools available and, in their current form, they can help you drive both additional revenue and reduced costs when used well.  However, in my experience many of these tools have been sold in under the guise of "saving time" through reporting automation.  That's valuable, but it's not "finding a new sales opportunity" valuable.

I think we are still in the infancy of DSR development: systems are operating at the limits of the technology they were built on and necessary trade-offs mean that being good at one thing (e.g. speed) makes it more challenging to be good at others (e.g. analytics).

The next generation of DSR can be dramatically more effective.  In particular, it will be:

  • much faster while handling much more data
  • much easier to use
  • easy to load with CPG's data
  • easily integrated with additional data feeds (weather, economic time-series, google-trends, twitter feeds, geo-demographic data)
  • truly cross-retailer
  • easily integrated with your chosen BI, visualization and ad-hoc analytics tools.
  • couple rapid data-handling with effective predictive analytics to drive discovery, insight and better decisions.
I'm not going to tell you that these ideas are new (or mine).  This list provides a very high standard and against it, DSRs have consistently under-delivered.

What I am saying, is that the technology now exists to deliver on the promise.

Over this upcoming series of posts we'll look at developments in database technology, analytics and visualizaton that will enable DSR 2.0. (Or should that be DSR 3.0?).  Sign up for the blog feed and make sure you don't miss it.