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Why Outstanding Store Planning Needs Both Local Knowledge And Big Data

Here’s something you’ll hear often in the store planning industry:

“I’ve worked for this industry and in this community for years, who can know this area better than me? Especially compared to someone sitting in an office somewhere simply crunching numbers”

This is a common reaction heard by regional sales staff, when store planning professionals want to use data to decided where to sell new products, open new stores and find new pockets of opportunity for their company. It’s an issue that requires both side to cooperate and compromise with each other in order to be resolved.

One way to resolve this type of conflict is through data education. Data, database, Big Data, Data layers, all are terms you’ve probably heard before. Data is a broad term which can mean a lot of different things to different people, it just depends on the context, and who’s talking. Those with little to no basic data education will imagine it in a totally unique way then those who have worked with data before and understand more about what it means and how it’s used across different industries. You can get your data education started with
5 Easy Ways To Learn More About Big Data and 10 Killer Infographics That Perfectly Explain Big Data.

Local knowledge is important, and will always be useful for store planning, but local knowledge can be biased. Cities are always changing, especially in China and southeast Asia. Observations made this year will be radically different a few years from now. Data can help track these changes in a way that are consistent and error resistant, which benefits both store planning professionals and sales staff.

Debating over whether local knowledge or data is more powerful is like debating whether reading or writing is more useful. They both have an important role to play. Data can give us a birds-eye view of any situation, and local expert guidance can help with the final execution.

  By Esther Chen 
  Senior Project Manager

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