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The Importance of Data Visualization


Give me reporting that’s easy to understand. Something simple. A dashboard that I can just look at and “get” it. That’s what our customers are asking for and that’s exactly what Tom Theis [Senior Manager, Revenue Growth Management] of The J.M. Smucker Company spoke about when he took the stage at Smoke Jumpers XV.



“When your sales team or the executives ask for information, they need it to be easy to obtain and easy to understand quickly.”

Tom is a champion of insight generation.

He is also incredibly proficient in using the Blacksmith TPM analytics engine, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to refine the analytics approach at Smucker’s. He was thrilled to collaborate with Blacksmith’s team on its latest analytics tool. Their collaborative goal was to enable exceptional analytic capabilities for non-power users within Blacksmith Applications customer organizations. With the foodservice analytics tool, and by expanding the user group at Smucker’s, response times are faster than ever before. When questions come in, answers shortly follow.

Tom explained to his fellow Smoke Jumpers*, “You can click, filter, even slide bars back and forth. No IS degree required. It’s simple.”

Furthermore, the tool and reporting tactics have enabled Smucker’s to drive their deduction balance down to an all-time low. Timely updates foster quick action. Smucker’s has embraced the foodservice analytics and its output.

Smucker’s deduction balance is at an all time low as a result of their efforts.


The entire deductions team at Smucker’s is running reports that deliver enhanced data visualization. These dashboards provide answers to questions that once seemed challenging to assess via simple and straightforward means. The charts and graphs are intuitive. Comprehension is a breeze and the reporting is highly shareable.

Smucker’s sales team is also advocating for analytics. The data accuracy is strong. Tom noted, “While it has taken some time to get everyone on the same page, folks are very confident now.”

CPG organizations need analytics to generate insights and improve business performance more than ever before.


The following report has been blurred due to data sensitivity:

Reach out to learn more about enabling your organization through analytics.


*Smoke Jumpers: Blacksmith Applications’ commitment to helping the industry improve trade processes and strategy includes the creation and maintenance of a share-group, Smoke Jumpers. Twice a year, senior personnel from top CPG companies gather together to discuss industry change.

This article is based on Tom Theis’s keynote presentation at Smoke Jumpers XV.