What happens when the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing?
Unfortunately, this phrase often accurately describes the data and IT situation at many large corporations. With data coming in from so many disparate sources or being handled by different departments, internal groups don’t know what data is actually available to them. Even if they do know where all their data comes from, they may not have the capability to incorporate the data in a meaningful way that provides true business insight.
Alternately, even if they do know where their data is, internal pricing groups often face the problem of being a small fish in a big pond. While pricing and Revenue Management can have a major impact on the bottom line, the small personnel size of these groups causes their internal IT requests to be pushed down the list of priorities or constrained by larger enterprise initiatives.
How bad can it get? Some retail pricing groups do not have direct access to data that drives the prices on their own website. Instead, a third party vendor is leveraged to scrape the retailer’s own website and provide current pricing back to them – and at a cost.
This type of issue is not uncommon and often stems from how companies initially built their data architecture. Understandably, companies are focused on what is needed for their core business. Pricing and Revenue Management analytics are typically an afterthought when building a corporate data strategy, and are either not initially included or are not in focus until much later in the design.
So, what can companies do to combat this, yet remain competitive at the same time? In the past few years, there has been an increasing focus on the “Cloud” and “As a Service” providers. Storage, computing and networking advances have made it possible to offload infrastructure overhead and to shift data and processing resources to on-demand services.
A Revenue Data Cloud (RDC) takes full advantage of this shift. The RDC allows automated consolidation of information sources such as pricing, inventory, product, customer, and web traffic data. The RDC also provides ongoing data curation and Master Data Management for long-term stability and data accuracy, providing Pricing and Revenue Management teams with a single version of the truth. Best of all, using an RDC minimizes internal corporate IT costs, allowing pricing groups to maximize budgets and deliver insight on the questions they truly need answered.
By creating a Revenue Data Cloud, companies can consolidate and standardize their fractious data sources, glean business insights from historical data, and manage data sources that were previously impossible to fully maintain. The RDC empowers Pricing and Revenue Management groups, giving them a powerful tool to produce long term benefits.