SliceShop, an online cutlery retailer, was considering a brick‑and‑mortar expansion. The company had already done two successful popups. Julienne led a collaborative decision analysis with data scientists, business analysts, subject matter experts, and retail executives.

DTD Data-to-Decision Method by Ugly Research

The cross-functional team followed the DTD Method (Data, Tools & Techniques, Decision). With its inherent transparency, DTD helped people build trust in team capabilities and findings. And the structured workflow helped them speed, derisk, and debias their process.

Telling a Value Story, Not a Data Story

After performing prescriptive analytics and qualitative research, the team recommended stores in the southern California trade area. They produced executive-facing insights and demonstrated value with simple visuals.

Retail brick and mortar case study

Visualizing Decisions, Not Data

Julienne exported key findings to PowerPoint. But to avoid risking the harmful biases of conventional presentation and storytelling, she led a discussion where value was explained upfront. Commentary by senior decision makers was held until the end. Eventually they decided to open three shops in southern California.

Reusing Assets and Managing Performance

As the brick-and-mortar stores opened, SliceShop continued adding insights to the DTD workflow. What emerged was a single repository of relevant evidence and reusable analytics assets.

PepperSlice was integrated into SliceShop’s analytics platform, enabling managers to track performance and revisit decisions. For example, actual YOY sales figures are routinely pulled into the workflow environment for comparing to plan. So far, the brick-and-mortar expansion is a success.

performance management insight


Now let’s deep dive into this data-to-decision workflow. PepperSlice guided the team through a transparent, collaborative process. (View this workflow, live in PepperSlice.)

1. D = Data for What?

Nothing happened until the key question was clear: In this case, “Should SliceShop open brick-and-mortar stores?” Then, a cross-functional team asked supplemental questions, including: How will we decide? Is our supply chain adequate? What will new analytics cost? Each question was explicitly added to the workflow.

retail case study popupdata

Next, the team identified purposeful data sets: What data could help answer specific questions? Who could apply novel data-gathering approaches? Insights are captured in PepperSlice.

Julienne searched the PepperSlice repository for relevant insights. She discovered a prior finding that SliceShop’s prescriptive analytics tools could be cost-effectively extended to physical inventory management.

pepperslice knowledge graph

2. T = Tools & Techniques.

Continuing with the DTD Method, subject matter experts recommended the best available analytical techniques and models, quantitative or qualitative. PepperSlice guided peer review of evidence, methods, and insights - allowing managers to derisk the business decision.

retail case study tools and techniques

3. D = Decision.

This workflow captured insights to answer the key questions and inform the decision. Team members clearly explained uncertainty and risks; they connected possible actions with predicted outcomes in a simple visual format.

Rather than allowing bias through traditional presentation theater, beauty contests, and storytelling, team leaders opened the conversation with a concise, bottom-line evaluation. Business and data teams weighed the evidence. Executives decided to open three physical stores.

pepperslice retail case study making decision
pepperslice retail case study slices


As brick-and-mortar became a reality, people continued adding insights to PepperSlice, and it emerged as a repository of reusable insights. SliceShop’s analytics platform was integrated into the workflow, so it could function as a performance management environment. People now can revisit the decision and compare plan:actual for metrics such as customer conversion ratio and YOY sales.

performance management insight

See for yourself.


Go here to view this actual workflow, live in PepperSlice.