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Blog Posts, Competitive Business Intelligence, Durable IQ™, Hybrid POS™, SKU Insights, SKU Metrix™

How Manufacturers Use Big Data to Their Advantage

February 16, 2024
Ashley Jefferson Author 5 mins read
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Manufacturers looking to gain a competitive advantage in efficiency, profit, and predicting market trends must look to big data as the solution. In fact, across the durable goods industry, many successful manufacturers and retailers alike already benefit from big data and the competitive business intelligence it delivers. 

This article takes a look at the multitude of ways manufacturers use big data to get ahead, including some specific use cases from TraQline data. 

How Do Manufacturers Use Data? 

While there are countless opportunities for manufacturers to use big data to guide business strategy and decision making, a few key use cases include: 

We will dive into a few of these use cases below, but first let’s look at how manufacturers collect the data they need to inform their business strategies. 

How is Data Collected in Manufacturing? 

Manufacturers primarily collect competitive business data from two sources: internal sources such as smart manufacturing technologies and external sources such as data service providers.   

Internal Data Sources 

Internal resources for data collection allow manufacturers to collect data on their own product lines and overall business through means that can include but are not limited to: 

  • Machinery and diagnostic scans
  • IoT sensor integration 
  • Shop floor applications  
  • Staff observations, notes, and surveys 

External Data Sources  

External resources for data collection allow manufacturers to see beyond their own shop floor and into the market, the product lines, and the sales floors of their product lines, retailers and competitors.  

Data of this nature can be gathered through various means, including but not limited to: 

  • On-the-ground research, such as secret shopping 
  • Competitive research, such as the development of a SWOT analysis 
  • Market data services, such as TraQline 

While all of these are valid means of gathering data, the development of new advanced data analytics tools are quickly replacing the need for other external sources — becoming a one-stop for all data needs.  

TraQline, as an example, offers insights solutions that deliver data on everything from competitive product lines, to top SKUs across the market, to market share and consumer data.  

Data-Driven Manufacturing: Three Big Data Analytics Use Cases  

To better understand how big data is used by manufacturers — specifically how data insights tools like TraQline empowers manufacturers — let’s look at three use cases that evaluate different types of data and the way it can be implemented to inform business practices.  

Use Case 1: Boosting Line Review Success 

For a manufacturer, the key to a highly successful product line review revolves around comprehensive understanding of the market. It is about being an expert in ones product line and arriving armed with data that will wow retailers. 

One easy way to amplify the product line review is with exclusive market insights such as other stores shopped. Let’s take a look at the Durable IQ data charts below, which show Home Depot’s draw, close, and walk rate, as well as the other stores shopped after walking, for Dishwashers.  


From this data, Dishwasher manufacturers can discover the following insights:  

  1. Draw Rate — 48% of Dishwasher purchasers shopped at Home Depot when making their purchase 
  2. Close Rate — Among that 48%, 55% purchased a Dishwasher from Home Depot 
  3. Walk Rate — Of those drawn into Home Depot to shop for Dishwashers, 45% left the retailer to purchase their dishwasher somewhere else 
  4. Other Stores Shopped — 61% of the shopper leakage purchased at Lowe’s, 12% purchased at Best Buy, 4% purchased at Costco, 1% purhcased at Amazon, etc.  

From this data, manufacturers can make strategic decisions about which stores and what volume to place their product.  

Use Case 2: Improving Product Lines 

When optimizing product lines or new product development, manufacturers need data on current market trends — they need to understand what is winning with consumers.  

As shown below, with Hybrid POS data brands can easily see the best selling SKUs across brands and top retailers. With this data, manufacturers can evaluate their product line to see if the features, pricing, and specifications of their products align with what is winning in the market or if they have product line gaps that need filled. 


Use Case 3: Defending Against Competitive Threats 

In order to stay competitive, manufacturers need to stay on top of competitor movement and product line changes.  

SKU Metrix delivers a comprehensive product master that allows manufacturers to easily and quickly compare products across brands to see variance in features, pricing, and more. By viewing this comparison, such as the one shown below, brands can evaluate competitive product lines and identify advantages or opportunities. 


TraQline: How Manufacturers Get a Competitive Edge 

TraQline currently powers big data for manfacturers across the durables industry, delivering the data they need to make smarter strategic decisions and grow their business.   

To see how TraQline can empower your brand, visit our contact us page or fill out the form below to request more information.