Four fundamentals for evaluating your rack pricing data’s effectiveness

Timing & delivery

Fuel marketing opportunities are fast and fleeting. To be able to pounce on favorable conditions, you need timely data.

Is it ready before you log in for the day? If you have index-based contracts with midnight effective times, is the complete report available before midnight? Including 6 p.m. price changes? And what about intra-day price moves? Instant, accurate data is a must so you can quickly adapt to the market.

Find out how early — and often — your rack data service delivers pricing information. Compare it to other services. Your partner should also provide multiple delivery options to meet your business needs.

 

Accuracy

It’s not enough to be first. It’s not even enough to be first and fast. No, those qualities only matter if your data is accurate. If your tool relies on manual data collection, just one “fat-finger” mistake can cost you dearly.

You need automatically-collected pricing data — not manually copied and pasted. It should be as close to 100% automated as possible. This will help you avoid costly errors and ensure the data ready when you need it.

Further, be sure your rack pricing solution evaluates the data for outliers — prices that don’t conform to the rest of the market — and flags them, automatically removing them from report averages.

 

Cleanliness

We’ve covered the importance of speed and quality, but what about the nature of the data itself?

If your rack pricing tool presents data from contract pricing, partner pricing, or prices posted without actual product behind them, you’re not getting actionable data. You may be getting it fast, and it might even be technically correct, but you can’t use it to make pricing decisions. Nor should you be held to the inaccurate averages and indexes that result.

Mixing those prices with true pricing data on the same report is like combining apples and oranges. Having a data provider who can keep these classes of trade properly organized is imperative for sound business decisions.

Removing irrelevant data yourself costs precious time. You need useable data that is first, fast, and clean.

 

Integration

Fuel marketers depend on dashboards, tools that aggregate and present all the disparate sources of data they need to track. An additional, non-integrated tool isn’t all that helpful.

Does your rack pricing data solution seamlessly integrate with your other systems so you can use it in the natural flow of your work and decision-making? Can you easily export the data in a format that fits your back-office tech stack? If not, the inconvenience of getting the data you need, where and when you need it, may outweigh the benefits the solution offers.

When you’re evaluating rack data pricing solutions, be sure you avoid these common issues, so you’re getting data that is first, fast, clean, actionable, and convenient.