Insights / Cutting through retail jargon

Cutting through retail jargon

The retail tech’ world is full or jargon and hyperbole. In the latest instalment of our series that seeks to demystify this world we take a look and some recurring phrases and spell out their meaning.

Master data management

Master Data Management (MDM)
A technology-enabled discipline in which business and Information Technology work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, semantic consistency and accountability of the enterprise’s official shared master data assets
Is a discipline which aims to deliver consistency and accuracy of an organisation’s shared data sources. As a discipline it has two aspects: technology and governance

Golden Record
Is a single, well-defined version of all the data entities related to a key business asset – tying together the unique identifiers in on record

Master Data
The key unique identifiers that relate to the object in question

Reference Data
The associated attributes that describe the object in question

Transactional Data
The data that relates to the business-critical activities associated with the object in question

Single Source of Truth
The reference to which data users can turn when they want to ensure that they have the correct version of a piece of information. The one system that holds the up to date, accurate and governed information required

The type of data you want to master

The rascal MDM platform

Retailer Product Catalogue
The comprehensive collection of all of a retailers products – either currently sold, previously sold, seasonal, or future

Approved Product List
The list of all products currently approved for sale across the retailers estate

Big Data
Extremely large data sets, usually too complex to be dealt with using traditional processes

Data Cleansing
Transforming data from its native state into a pre-defined standardised format

Data integrity
Ensuring the accuracy and standardisation of data

Data Governance
The management, usability, integrity and security of data – controls and rules, validation

Data Management
The development and execution of architectures, policies, practices to manage data through its lifecycle

News and magazines

EPoS Based Returns the process of calculating shrink and issuing credits based on theoretical returns utilising sales data + a % shrink allowance (news and mags only)

Theoretical Returns
The figure used to credit retailers for newspapers/magazines – the difference between delivered qty and sold qty

Sale or Return
Products that are returned to the supplier if not sold and a credit issued to the retailer for the qty returned

Direct Store Delivery (DSD)
Products that are ordered and shipped on an individual store basis, instead of bulk ordered or shipped to a central warehouse

Sales Based Trading
Retailers pay the supplier only for the qty of products sold

Claims Based Trading
Retailers pay for the full qty of products delivered and the claim a credit for items returned to the supplier if not sold

The financial loss realised by a retailer due to malicious acts, damage/loss, or data/process issues. The difference between expected profit vs actual profit in simple terms

Retail Systems

Retail Management System – the system which centrally controls certain aspects of a retailers operations such as stock, ordering, invoicing and EPoS

Inventory Management System – the system where stock is managed

Electronic Point of Sale – electronic till system in stores

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Integrated applications which are used to collect, manage and store data for a variety of business activities

Legacy Solution / Software
An old or outdated tool


Predictive Analytics
Solutions that use past data to predict future patterns and behaviours

Artificial Intelligence
Is intelligence demonstrated by machines through clever programming, analytics and machine learning

Machine Learning
A type of Artificial Intelligence that provides computers with the ability to learn without being specifically programmed to do so, teaching itself when exposed to new data

Adaptive Analytics
AI that powers Machine Learning

Software as a Service (SaaS)
A software delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis, cloud hosted by the vendor, and typically accessed by users using a client via a web-browser

Platform as a Service (PaaS)
A category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.

Software that is hosted by the end business on their own servers/systems

The on-demand availability of software and data storage without direct active management by the end business – provided by a 3rd party on a subscription basis typically

A few others…

Failure Demand
Additional workload or processes created or caused due to failure in normal processes

The discovery/identification of meaningful patterns in data

Business Intelligence
A process for analysing data and presenting actionable insights to stakeholders in order to make informed business decisions

The usable information gained from analytics

This article is part of a series aimed at demystifying the sometimes-complex world of Master Data Management. At rascal we work hard to avoid jargon and make our approach as clear as possible. To discuss how we do this, or to suggest a topic you think needs clearing-up, please click here to get in touch.

Contact us here