Data strategy
A leading retail business
Wavicle developed a comprehensive data strategy for a leading retail business to improve insights, support informed decisions, and enhance business performance.
Data Management
Modern Data Governance
Strategy & Assessments
AWS

Data strategy

Retail Company Overhauls Data Strategy for Centralized Data and Insights

A leading retail business with thousands of franchise locations struggled with a decentralized data structure, which created challenges in operational and fiscal reporting and management.  They needed to modernize their data ecosystem to enable critical data analytics use cases, standardize data definitions, and improve franchise management capabilities. The company enlisted Wavicle to develop an end-to-end data strategy to centralize and streamline their data management, ensuring more efficient and effective solutions for both the franchisor and franchisees.

 

Challenges in the decentralized data environment 

This leading retail business embarked on a digital transformation journey to modernize its systems, enhance franchise performance, optimize operations, and identify and standardize best practices. Historically, the company’s franchises had operated independently, each adopting their own data practices and systems. While this independence fueled individual growth, it also led to challenges in consolidating data and evaluating overall performance.

 

Due to the varied tech stacks and software across franchises, the company struggled with inconsistent data and reporting. The lack of standardized tools, such as point-of-sale systems, hindered effective report generation and performance evaluation.

 

Furthermore, service categories and basic business terms like “customer” and “lead source” were inconsistently defined, even for essential parts of their business. This caused uneven quoting and charging practices and made it difficult to analyze performance holistically.

 

The company recognized the need for consistent definitions and data management standards to improve comparisons, reporting, and insights and allow them to better identify and standardize best practices across franchise locations. They engaged Wavicle to conduct a data strategy overhaul that included identifying key data use cases, recommending platform and process improvements, and designing a modern data architecture to streamline data management and reporting. This initiative aimed to build a resilient and cohesive data framework, setting the stage for analytics and propelling the company’s future growth and success.

 

Modernizing data management with innovative solutions   

Wavicle developed a strategic approach to fulfill the retail company’s data goals, starting with a thorough assessment of their current state and governance needs and followed by a detailed modernization roadmap.

 

Current state assessment 

Wavicle’s experts conducted over 20 interviews with more than 30 key stakeholders across various business areas, including finance operations, franchise management, and executive leadership. Our consultants worked with individuals closely involved in daily operations, as well as IT leadership and key data and analytics personnel, for a complete picture of the company’s current challenges and opportunities. The primary objective was to understand their critical data needs and high-impact use cases. Additionally, data maturity and governance surveys provided quantitative insights, mapping the company’s current state and highlighting areas for improvement.

 

From the interview process, Wavicle identified 22 key use cases and categorized them into areas like financial reporting, daily franchise operations, and advanced capabilities. These data, analytics, and AI use cases included opportunities for:

 

  • Accurately capturing key financial metrics at franchise and aggregate levels 
  • Benchmarking and comparing franchise performance vs. peers
  • Enhancing operational insights 
  • Standardizing terminology and critical data elements across franchises 
  • Creating a unified reporting portal 
  • Mapping customer journeys for better experiences

 

This comprehensive assessment ensured a deep understanding of the company’s landscape, enabling Wavicle’s team to provide informed strategic recommendations and establishing a solid foundation for solution development.

 

Solution development 

The solution phase included key deliverables such as strategic recommendations and a detailed roadmap for the company’s transition to a modern data ecosystem. Each deliverable was designed to provide actionable insights and ensure a seamless transformation, always guided by practical cost/benefit analysis and clear expectations of returns on investments.

 

The company’s existing data architecture was basic, with just a simple data warehouse, and heavily reliant on SQL for querying. Wavicle’s experts recommended a complete overhaul to establish a future state architecture to support faster and more accurate data feeds in near real time, which was essential for immediate decision-making and resource mobilization. The Wavicle team also provided a selective list of state-of-the-art data warehouse, ETL, and data catalog tools that would best support the new requirements.

 

Next, Wavicle recommended operating models to support this infrastructure, defining the roles and responsibilities necessary for managing the data and analytics program. An operating model for data governance and the overall data platform was also prepared to articulate the company’s vision for the program’s day-to-day administration.

 

As part of the forward-looking data strategy roadmap, Wavicle’s team prioritized quick wins that would generate value as part of a larger transformation, identifying milestones and value points along the way. For one early, high-value deliverable, Wavicle’s experts recommended integrating data from a widely used POS software across franchises into the new data warehouse. This would enhance reporting on transactions, leads, and financial metrics to generate actionable insights in the short term. Some of the longer-term goals included standardizing reporting and ultimately incorporating advanced analytics capabilities, such as using AI and machine learning for predicting surges in customer demand.

 

Impacts of the well-planned data strategy   

Wavicle’s data strategy and governance recommendations have strategically positioned the retail business to adopt a modernized data ecosystem. Prioritized use cases, a refined future state architecture, an actionable data governance model, and a roadmap outlining specific steps and milestones all guide the implementation of this end-to-end transformation effort.

  

Implementing Wavicle’s recommendations is set to enhance business operations by enabling accurate, rapid data and analytics capabilities and improving visibility into key metrics across franchises. This will empower entrepreneurial franchises by providing support, identifying best practices, and standardizing operations based on those practices.