Over the past few years, everyone has been talking about using machine learning to improve their business. Machine Learning is the ability to use statistical models along with programming to predict outcomes using data. Although many companies seek to use this technology, most companies lack the structure needed to implement the technology successfully. We’re going to discuss some things you can do to create a structure for collecting good data.

Clear Data Variables

In order to develop a system that will benefit your retail store, you will need to develop clear data variables. As a result of developing clear data labels, you will reduce confusion and increase your ability to use this data in the future. In the last year, we’ve worked with a number of small businesses in regard to data projects. One of the most common things I’ve noticed with clients is having multiple labels for the same data points. For this reason, building advanced predictive tools become difficult because of bad data. If you’re looking to boost your business using data, schedule an appointment with a consultant first to evaluate your situation.

Consistent Retail Data

Having consistent data is one of the most important pieces in being able to utilize data for your retail business. We’re constantly working with companies to help them develop a data strategy that will serve their business in the future. As a result of these conversations, our clients can develop healthy habits and ultimately gain more insight from their data. If you have team members that play a role in your data collection, take time to explain to them what data points should be collected consistently. This will provide guidelines to what represents consistent data input.


Target Data Goals

Creating targeted data goals is one of the most important components of building a system that will provide business insight. You need to have a clear understanding of the business objectives and what needs to be measured. For example, if we’re working with a retail shoe store we want to identify the things we want to improve. We can start by tracking the customer purchase habits such as the type of items and purchase frequency. Once we identify clear goals, we can focus on a process to reach the data collection goal.


In order to develop a data-driven retail strategy,  owners need to have clear data variables. Retail owners can develop effective data analytics by collecting consistent data. Targeted data goals will help your retail store develop clear objectives.  In conclusion, having a winning retail data strategy is a process that takes time and consistent effort. By being patient and discipline, you will eventually reach your goal of having data that can provide strategic insight to your retail store.


Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (d/b/a, Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that builds custom predictive analytics and automation tools to enhance a company’s performance and decision making