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Inspire 2015 - Delhaize: Blend and Batch: A Macro View of Developing Trade Areas

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In retail analytics, trade area geographies are often developed on a custom basis for a large network of store locations. At Delhaize America, trade area geographies for over 1,000 grocery stores were updated sporadically, with varying naming conventions, data schemas and file locations, spanning multiple years and authors. Additionally, more than one vintage of trade area existed for many individual stores, resulting in the inability to bring the recent version in as one input to an analysis. In this session you'll see how Delhaize America solved this problem using a macro that highlights Alteryx's ability to work within clients' existing file structures and inconsistencies. See how to achieve successful data blending where data organization is not optimal, and analysis depends on accessing disparate, archived datasets.

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Inspire 2015 - Delhaize: Blend and Batch: A Macro View of Developing Trade Areas

  1. 1. #inspire15 Blend and Batch A Macro View of Developing Trade Areas Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Jon Albertini, Manager of GeoAnalytics, Delhaize America Mandy Gray, GeoAnalytics Analyst, Delhaize America
  2. 2. #inspire15 • Where and Who we are • Customer & trade area reporting: what we needed, what we built • Next level: how we improved • Implications for our business Outline
  3. 3. #inspire15 Where We Are – Eastern USA Grocery Retailer with 1300+ stores from Northeast - Mid-Atlantic - South
  4. 4. #inspire15 • Supporting Site Location Research • Enable Geospatial support for new store forecasts • Real Estate Portfolio and Capital Allocation Decisions • Geographic queries helping all areas of organization • How this applies – What do we need? • Store-level reports showing geographic sales trends, competitive impacts, and demographic summaries • Ability to predict new stores and remodels, an accurate baseline • Block Group-level sales, market share, and percent of store sales • Ability to combine data sources to delineate a trade area • Neighborhoods predict behavior for us; local dynamics, not regional • Grouping stores providing trends to measure performance Who We Are
  5. 5. #inspire15 1. T-Log data from front end point-of-sale 2. Import manually and reconfigure .dbf for geocoding in MapInfo 3. Accumulate store-level queries and data calculations using MS Access 4. Create maps in MapInfo 5. Adobe Report Early Trade Area Development
  6. 6. #inspire15 • Early Benefits • Remove multiple programs and incorporate one platform (cancelled 2 existing contracts) • POS data processing: 20 minutes per store to 10 seconds per chain • Reduced software costs • Eliminated 3rd party Engineer who developed and maintained MS Access DB Evolution to Alteryx • Early Days of Alteryx • Early experience level caused slower development and more workflows • Interface tools now with improved functionality • Store-level mentality moved to chain-level
  7. 7. #inspire15 • How could we improve? • Ability to run for all 1,300 stores • Reduce manual steps & analyst wait-time • What would it take? • Batching! Taking it to the next level
  8. 8. #inspire15 Updated Alteryx process (clicks required) Geocode customer data Create trade areas Generate reports 1 store at a time 1 store at a time 2 clicks per store 4 clicks per store All stores at once 1,300 stores x 6 clicks / store = 7,800 clicks
  9. 9. #inspire15 Updated Alteryx process (clicks required) Geocode customer data Create trade areas Generate reports 1 store at a time 1 store at a time 2 clicks per store 4 clicks per store All stores at once Geocode customer data Create trade areas Generate reports 2 clicks per banner 3 clicks per banner All stores at once 1 banner x 5 clicks / banner = 5 clicks All stores at once As many stores as needed 1,300 stores x 6 clicks / store = 7,800 clicks
  10. 10. #inspire15 Updated Alteryx process (time required) Geocode customer data Create trade areas Generate reports 1 store at a time 1 store at a time 5 minutes per store, 2 manual data entry points 5 minutes per store, 4 manual data entry points All stores at once 1,300 stores x 10 mins / store = over 5 weeks of labor (and lots of analyst down-time) Geocode customer data Create trade areas Generate reports 30 minutes, 2 manual data entry points 4 minutes per store, 3 manual data entry points All stores at once (1,300 stores x 4 mins / store ) + 30 minutes = under 2 weeks of labor All stores at once As many stores as needed
  11. 11. #inspire15 3 tools were the keys to improvement Directory • Allows collection of individual store files in one click (e.g., “search for all .yxdb files called *Trade Area.yxdb”) Dynamic Input • Allows import of many files at once (e.g., “import all 1,300 trade area files”) Control Parameter • Allows running workflow for a select group of stores (from 1 to 1,300)
  12. 12. #inspire15 The original workflow… A large workflow took multiple inputs and output a report for a single store
  13. 13. #inspire15 A workflow was built around a batch macro… As many stores as needed can be entered into the workflow for generating reports Directory tools search for the necessary input files, no need for manual updating The batch macro contains all tools related to generating a report
  14. 14. #inspire15 Inside the macro…. The control parameter runs the workflow from beginning to end for each store number provided The Dynamic Input tools import files from the directory tools corresponding to the store number coming through the control parameter The macro input brings in file paths to data from the directory tools
  15. 15. #inspire15 Implications for our business • Time savings • Manual entry requirements & analyst wait-time reduced • Data availability & Analytical Accuracy • Trade areas and consumer reports available for entire banner • Reports can be generated quarterly, rather than once every few years • Sharing with retail associates now possible …all leading to taking fuller advantage of consumer data insights
  16. 16. #inspire15 “Its incredible what people can do when they’re empowered with data.” --Food Lion Central Division Regional Director
  17. 17. THANK YOU! #inspire15

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