8 SEPTEMBER 2015 Consulting®
KCRA Q&A: Revenue Analytics’ Dax Cross
Dax Cross serves as the President of Revenue Analytics. In this
role, he guides the firm’s day-to-day operations and manages key
client relationships. KCRA caught up with him recently to discuss
the firm, the future and Big Data’s impact.
KCRA: What does your firm do?
Cross: Revenue Analytics is a consulting firm with a focus on driving
organic revenue growth for Fortune
500 companies. We leverage large
volumes of transactional data to derive insights into customer behavior
as a basis for optimizing pricing, product mix, inventory, and availability.
Our analytical models leverage sales,
product, competitive, customer and
other relevant data to provide dynamic
recommendations based on demand,
price sensitivity and competition. Our
solutions are often used to help clients
manage pricing, merchandising, inventory and marketing decisions.
KCRA: Is your firm being impacted
by Big Data?
Cross: We feel like we’ve been do-
ing big data for years, it just wasn’t
called that. We are able to collect
point-of-sale transaction data on
tens of millions of products for na-
tional scale retailers with thousands
of store locations and then use this
data to build actionable insights. Big
Data is becoming more actionable.
For example, we can now produce a
dynamic pricing analysis on real time
web traffic to provide tactical pricing
that drives demand toward our cli-
ent’s products. Click stream data can
be leveraged as a leading demand
indicator in our pricing and promo-
tional frameworks, so if a product is
getting traffic, but the traffic is not
resulting in transactions, there is a
possibility that the product may be
mispriced relative to the competition.
KCRA: What trends do you see
among your clients?
Cross: Clients vary greatly in their
use of pricing analytics, but we see
growing adoption. When a client has
thousands of products at thousands of
locations, it is difficult to understand
underlying dynamics without data
analytics. More people are seeking
analytical assistance, rather than resisting it. While travel and hospitality
are among the most advanced users of
pricing analytics, other sectors such
as retail, automotive, entertainment
and amusement, are coming around.
With pricing more transparent on the
web, companies realize they need to
get a handle on their web data and become more dynamic in pricing.
We find that even really sophisti-
cated companies need help in finding
new ways of doing things to get bet-
ter. For example, we never thought
we would be doing as much work as
we do in the travel and hospitality
space as they were already far ahead
of the curve, but we find they are al-
ways looking to do more.
KCRA: Do other firms have pricing
Cross: As with clients, consultants
vary in their degree of sophistication
toward pricing. When a firm says they
have a pricing practice, it means something different at each firm. Many of
our competitors still focus on doing a
one-time, static study of historic data
in developing a pricing strategy. We
feel what we do is far more sophisticated; our business model consists of
strategy consultants, PhD mathematicians and software engineers in close
collaboration with the client to develop true decision support capabilities,
which often include complex linear
programs with price optimization
models. We then spend a great deal of
time building the business intelligence
capabilities and facilitating change
management at the client site.
KCRA: What do you see in the future?
Cross: It can be a big investment by
the client to build a proprietary system
and an analytics team to support it. As
such, many clients have asked us to
run and manage their revenue data and
analytics as a managed service. While
there is scope to use some pre-figured
platforms, frameworks and tool kits
to accelerate the process, thus far, we
find that each project is unique and
requires a high degree of customiza-tion to reflect different available data,
different systems, or even different
strategies among clients in the same
industry. That being said, we have invested heavily recently in developing
more tools and accelerators that can
meet this growing client need.