Three Types of Data Visualization that Are Useful in a Retail Setting

Being a pricing or promotions professional for a leading retailer can be a thankless task.  The amount of data in which you are to consume and analyze grows exponentially as well as the demands for answers that are being placed upon you by various stakeholders.  Often the data is not optimized or accessible and the tools that you have at your disposal are archaic or ill equipped to handle your requirements.

We hear your pain and want to share one way that you can score points with your boss. Data visualization.  Great tools like Tableau, Domo, or Qlik have been around for awhile and you are no doubt aware of their ability to transform massive volumes of data into actionable insights.  Our Clear Demand solution is integrated with Tableau and our customers greatly benefit from its capabilities.  We want to share three common visualizations that have proven to be impactful in a retail setting and how they can convey valuable insights that you might be looking to share.

Let’s get started.

The Scatter Chart- This is a true workhorse, especially if you are looking to show the overall relationship in a large amount of data.  It is a great way to summarize data with two  variables. One useful application in a retail setting is to map out profit and sales by store in order to quickly determine which stores are driving the most value. If you want to add a third variable you can upgrade to using a Bubble Chart. This is useful  when comparing items in terms of their relative value, size, or position.  The example below graphs pasta and sauces by volume, elasticity, consumer price index (CPI) and even squeezes in a fourth variable in revenue.  This is very helpful in understanding things like which categories are performing above/below expectations or where the best revenue or profit opportunities can be uncovered.


Box Plot- This is very useful to show the distribution of a data set. You can configure lines, called whiskers, to display all points within a defined range ( or all points at the maximum extent of the data, as shown in the following image.  It can be used by analysts to visually display the range of prices a product might have across a region by competitors.


Opportunity Curve- You might remember this from your economics course and it can be a little more difficult to chart out but it is a very powerful way to visually demonstrate where you currently stand relative to potentially more efficient alternatives.  When you know the elasticity of your products this can be very helpful in determining the most efficient price in terms of profit or revenue optimization.


This is just the start.  Data visualization is a powerful way to illustrate meaningful trends and insights.  They can play a valuable role in summarizing trends or findings for executive dashboards.  In short, time is short, we are taught to cut to the chase, and data visualization can quickly get to the point of the matter without the additional time required to explain and present information the old fashioned way.