The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry relies heavily on “Big Data” to maintain efficiency and keep profits going up. While retailers like Walmart have built complex in-house systems that may rival NASA, most don’t have the bandwidth or the resources to weed through the massive amounts of data collected by major analytics corporations to figure out exactly how you can positively impact your bottom line.

To put it simply, think of Big Data as the haystack and your solution is the needle. What you truly need is a smart and efficient way to find your needle in that massive haystack.

Identify Your Problem

Sales and marketing have been facing the same problems since Big Data came about in the mid-1980’s. From gauging the success of a new product rollout to identifying how to solve out-of-stocks to efficient assortment, the issues have not and will not change. The first step in conquering Big Data is to clearly define what it is you want to know.

Dump Big Data

Big Data is the collection of all data regarding your company. Everything. It’s an amount of data so large that it will absolutely not fit in an Excel spreadsheet. (And even if it could, you would go cross-eyed trying to make sense of it.) Smart Data is the refined version, filtering out all of the noise to uncover information that will help you reach your solution. Once you have identified your problem, you can begin to employ Smart Data to uncover your solution.

Know The Hero

Many companies boast about their victories using Big Data to find and solve problems, when in fact it wasn’t actually Big Data (or even Smart Data) that played the role of hero — it was the software that discovered, transformed and presented the information for that solution to be found. In every data success story, the users have not only identified their problem but also created the Smart Data that uncovered the solutions needed.

As you stare at that big giant haystack, wondering how on Earth you’re going to find that needle, remember that there are steps you can take and people who are here to help. Click here to learn about more challenges and solutions in the CPG industry.