Zel Bianco, President and CEOOver the years, retailers and their manufacturing partners have been constantly striving to grow the profit pie. The quest for both has been to make sense out of the information which is gleaned from numerous online sources, point-of-sale, and market research. The interesting trend encompassing the CPG space is in creating the perfect experience for the shopper by quickly and efficiently analyzing these massive amounts of data. “Our solution allows the sales teams to access the latest data and insights easily for effective presentations to the retailers, giving them ‘Speed to insights’,” remarks Zel Bianco, President and CEO, Interactive Edge.
Interactive Edge’s responsiveness to tackle the evolution of data-driven sales and marketing initiatives has resulted in the self-service BI solution called XP3 Suite. XP3 helps author and automate branded presentations and reports customized to each client or objective. In the CPG arena, data is dynamic, changing on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. “It is challenging for those end-users who may not be data experts to make the appropriate selections so we created a seamless interface for business users downstream to create presentations and reports from raw data in minutes rather than days. Data can be easily updated or iterated across multiple metrics including account, market, region or category and with one-click refresh, all the information in the presentation is mapped accordingly,” affirms Bianco. XP3 is completely integrated on the front end with MS office, specifically Excel and PowerPoint and to the most commonly used back end, the SQL server.
Time is of the essence in the fast-paced CPG sector. The best thinking from category management, shopper insights, sales and marketing can come together to develop a library of best practice analytics, presentations and reports which become a widely accessible center of excellence. These can be shared throughout the organization in a very customized and account specific way. With XP3, business users can create the presentation and reports once and then easily modify to address the next customer. “Our solution includes intelligent text built in each presentation. The headlines, the comments on every slide, the charts and graphs get updated automatically to reflect the specific data points for the customer, brand or segment when you refresh the data,” adds Bianco.
Throughout its history, Interactive Edges’ purpose remains the same— effective tools to present data and insights.
We have created a seamless interface, for the business users, to create customized presentations from raw data in minutes rather than days or weeks
To gather in the valuable information from market research and shopper marketing, the company has created a module called XP3 Merge Engine, which allows customers to easily tag or mark the specific slides pertaining to the market research report (static slides together with the data driven dynamic slides) in their PowerPoint presentations. “We also have a little known tool called Data Defractor, which is a visual data mapping and processing tool designed to automate the transformation of complex Excel and CSV spreadsheets with un-structured data delivered in a form suitable for loading into any data visualization application,” explains Bianco.
Interactive Edge has a long-standing relationship with many of the world’s leading consumer goods companies such as Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Mars Chocolate, Frito Lay and many others. Nestlé USA has found that their customers prefer having account-specific information in addition to national-level information in any category and new item discussions. However, providing this customized information was time-consuming for account managers, many of whom service multiple customers and multiple categories. XP3 has enabled Nestlé USA to provide account specific, actionable insights to retail partners in a persuasive, easily updated format— freeing up time to focus on more value-added opportunities leading to improved collaboration and increased sales.
Today this tool is in use for all accounts that the Nestlé USA Sales Division services.
Interactive Edge has joined with Solgenia, a leading Cloud based company to integrate offerings from both product portfolios. “Their cloud based capabilities and mobile offerings is the perfect match to XP3’s robust, yet approachable Microsoft office integrated solution providing even more value to our customers,” states Bianco. Interactive Edge is planning to deliver their solutions with Solgenia to other verticals including retail, and financial services sectors and expand into Europe, Canada and Latin America as well.