By Ian Curry

The Australian retail industry is a tough and competitive marketplace. Savvy retailers know loyal customers shop more, spend more and tell their friends about the experience.

Retailers need to have continuous visibility of the actual in-store experience their customers have, whether it’s good or bad, in their individual stores, as well as across their entire network.

Our programs are not designed to capture data; they’re designed to drive actual business change and growth.  In order to do this, we knew we wanted to break away from offering the industry-standard solutions that existed in the past.

One challenge was ensuring the data captured from store is clear and intuitive across all levels of the organisation, from individual store manager through to the CEO.

As a result, we needed a way to adjust the presentation of retail data according to customer demands and turn analysis around quickly.  We also wanted to be able to share results with retailers securely and easily across a number of devices, including tablets.

After considering a number of survey analysis tools, we chose to go with Tableau Desktop. In addition to being pleased with the tool’s powerful data visualisation and analytical capabilities, Tableau also has an easy to use dashboard function, is speedy and is easy to deploy.

We then analyse and report findings back to the retailer’s head office and at store level. Retailers can then use the analysis to fine-tune their overall strategies for improved brand loyalty, advocacy with customers and better sales.

Using the data visualisation software, we are able to show key metrics such as net promoter score. For big chains, Brand Village can clearly present data at a national, state or a regional level.  Clients can also see how an individual store is performing compared to a national benchmark and track trends over time.

Our company ethos is to humanise research and Tableau is helping us do that. We’re combining survey data captured in-store or outside of the store, mystery shopping data, and even social media data, to tell compelling stories that help our clients drive visible change. Being able to deliver on our vision, humanising research, it’s a very exciting time for us.

Ian Curry is the operations partner of Melbourne-based start-up Brand Village, a company that  helps retailers humanise research about their customers.