Diversey's Retail Data Journey: How Proper Use Of Data Can Inform And Influence Food Safety Outcomes 

Diverseys Retail Data Journey Blog Diverseys Retail Data Journey Blog
Dave Hill
Analytics Manager
Feb 22, 2023

Data is an essential variable in effective decision making. When managed correctly, data can be an extremely powerful tool to help influence actions. 


As powerful as data can be, oftentimes data output is mismanaged. Whether outputs are visualized or metrics in a data table, it can be all too easy to under provide or over saturate the end user with information. In the majority of these cases, the end user does not receive the intended message and ultimately stops engaging in the data. This is where Diversey was about five years ago. 


In Retail, it was standard for us to conduct quarterly business reviews where we provided hig T- vel insights into chemical consumption and observational data collected from food safety and sanitation surveys. As business grew, and new partnerships were formed, we were becoming more engaged with data. We started to sense the industry was becoming more focused on data for insights and customers were becoming more data hungry. 


As business reviews evolved, we dove deeper into critical areas for the account. Customers were now challenging our teams for more insights into the performance of their programs. At the time we had a wealth of raw data at our fingertips, but we were still missing a vital piece to the puzzle. We needed a more effective way to visualize metrics to convey our message in a more impactful way. Bottom line, we needed a better data strategy. 


Initially, we realized we needed two things. We needed to provide our customers with a more robust set of visualized data, and we needed to engage our customers more frequently with this data. Meeting once a quarter to discuss opportunities was far beyond the point to drive actions to improve the customer's outcomes. With this in mind, we pulled together subject matter experts from within the company: experts on delivering customer insights, master data experts, and a systems engineer. What came out of this collaboration has transformed how Diversey manages and delivers food safety data and insights to customers. A key change to our program was the integration of a well-known Business Intelligence tool that delivers interactive dashboards. This enabled easier access to their data, and the models we designed within the tool allow for drill down capabilities and layering of data sets. This assisted users with root cause analysis on multiple levels of their business hierarchies. 


When we launched the new dashboards to our first client, they were thrilled with the new way we were presenting data. After some time passed to allow the customer to get oriented with the new tool, we probed for more feedback, and there was a sense of being overwhelmed. We went from 0 to 100 very quickly with our analytics program, and the clients' heads were spinning. The sense of being overwhelmed was a good thing, because we delivered on our promise. But we quickly noted that we had to work together to mine the data to discover key insights needed to drive change. 


During another client meeting, while reviewing audit results, a Vice President of Operations asked, "How can we break this down and drive change? How can we drive a culture shift? We needed to better focus on the "so what?" By putting ourselves in the customer's shoes, we began to engage the data asking ourselves "so what does this actually mean, and why does this matter?" From this we knew we had to improve communication of the data to the customer. We refined the amount of data we were displaying and focused on the key results that our customers needed to drive action. Then we focused on the communication on how the customer should be viewing the data and ways to formulate an action plan around the results. 


Putting this into action, we charted a course to isolate one key noncompliant issue to focus on for the next quarter. We reviewed the data, identified one key area of focus, developed a robust communication plan, and upon the subsequent quarterly business review, noncompliance for that question dropped by 26%. It isn't rocket science, but never underestimate the power of strong communication plans to achieve your goals. 

Since implementing these changes, several US Retailers and industry partners have told us what we have created is unmatched in the industry. 


Big Data can be overwhelming. It's easy to get lost. We work to help our clients understand macro-level trends, and together, identify where to dig in and drive key changes with micro-level insights. Utilizing data to assist in shaping your desired food safety culture is very important and key to driving change. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a Food Safety 7 ture, but getting started can be the hardest part. The answers are in the data, and the key to unlocking the value of data insights is a strategic and systematic communication strategy.