For 2014, gap intelligence decided to make a bold New Years resolution: make our industry-leading competitive intelligence more powerful and easier to use.

You could say we’ve been channeling our inner Daft Punk (or Kanye West, whichever you prefer), but with a twist:

Harder Easier

When gap delivered its first Price/Promotion Report more than 10 years ago, we set out to put all four P’s in one place. We put all the marketing intelligence essentials–Pricing, Promotional, Placement, and Product details–in a one-stop-shop experience and updated them on a weekly basis, creating the industry’s most comprehensive source of timely and accurate market knowledge. So why change now?

Better question is, why wouldn’t we continuously innovate and improve the customer experience? Especially when the opportunity exists to vastly simplify the process of finding answers to important questions such as:

Why did my market share increase this week?

Why were unit volumes up despite little or no advertising activity?

Why didn’t market share increase after a major advertising splash at Retailer “X”?

Why are my competitors’ share of shelf increasing / decreasing at key accounts?

Why is demand growing for key product features and how is this impacting my competitive value proposition?

Why is the sky blue? (OK, maybe not this one. Just checking you’re still with me.)

The answer for gap intelligence, of course, is why not? Because our analyst-driven market intelligence services are centered around one core objective:

To help Explain the Why by making gap’s timely and accurate intelligence
more actionable and easier to use.

So effective immediately, gap intelligence is rolling out beta versions of a new Price & Promotion Database (PPDB) based on Excel 2010 with a PowerPivot plugin (SQL Server 2012 SP1). The PowerPivot plugin is a free download from Microsoft’s website and can be installed and set up in just minutes.

Once up and running, the new beta reports give existing Excel 2010 users the option of benefiting from a much more dynamic, flexible, and customizable market intelligence tool than we have ever delivered. It will also open up possibilities we only dreamed of before, such as linking gap’s causal market intelligence with POS data streams to help unveil the daily mysteries around why my brand or my competitors brands are winning or losing.

Our initial launch includes 15 categories for Printer, PC and Consumer Electronics industries, as well as Home Appliances–with more on the way in the coming weeks and months.

And for those of you wondering: what about Excel 2013? And how about using gap data in other data visualization applications? There’s still more to come.  In fact, we’re just getting started!

Meantime, Explaining the Why just got a whole lot: Easier. Better. Faster. Stronger.