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 on May 18th 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 FORGE analytics engine, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to refine the analytics approach at Smucker’s. He was thrilled to collaborate with Chris Simmons [Professional Services – Blacksmith Applications] on the latest FORGE analytics tool, Torch. Their collaborative goal was to enable exceptional analytic capabilities for non-power users within Blacksmith Applications customer organizations. With Torch, 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. Torch is the best source of data. Timely updates foster quick action. Smucker’s has embraced the Torch tool and its output.

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


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 analytics and the use of Torch. 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. Blacksmith Applications would like to thank all customers using Torch and encourage you to reach out to learn more about enabling your organization through analytics.

The following Torch report has been blurred due to data sensitivity:

View exclusive Smoke Jumpers Resources

*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.

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