Data Assessment and Initial Strategy Implementation


Belchim Crop Protection USA, LLC (Belchim), an agrochemical/biological company wanted to explore the opportunity to move forward with a more datacentric approach to support an enhanced understanding of their customers, the market, and their opportunities for growth.

Belchim was interested in doing an initial investigation of their key data sources to identify business insights and recommendations related to leveraging data to inform future strategies.

Available data sources included multiple years of customer sales data, information on product sales, and contact data for retailers and growers, along with various sources of market data.


In order to evaluate the current state of Belchim’s data capabilities, SIGMA recommended a data assessment be conducted. This data assessment would not only provide Belchim with an understanding of their data but also allow the SIGMA team to lead Belchim stakeholders through a proof-of-concept project managed by SIGMA.

The initial step of the data assessment was to align Belchim’s customer sales and contact data. Once the data sources were aligned and reviewed for factors like data quality and percentage complete, SIGMA Data Scientists worked to determine key insights. Key insights and findings were visually presented to Belchim stakeholders with recommendations for next steps.


Through the data assessment SIGMA was able to provide two significant recommendations for next steps in the Belchim data journey.

Customer Attrition Strategies

Belchim’s available data helped SIGMA determine that although sales are increasing year over year, the number of unique customers is not increasing. This finding provides insight that although the Belchim team is excelling at growing sales for current customers, they need to focus on gaining new customers.

The SIGMA team made recommendations to adapt strategies to combat attrition while leveraging current practices to improve customer retention.

Implement Data Mart and Visual Dashboards

An analysis of Belchim’s data sources helped to determine the need for Belchim to work towards implementing a centralized data mart. The data mart would allow Belchim to combine disparate data sources for the specific purpose of driving learnings to enhance Belchim sales efforts.

The data mart would also invite Belchim to begin collecting additional data for deeper insights. As a result, the data mart would also serve to feed visual dashboards, developed by the SIGMA team to disseminate findings to the Belchim sales team to begin leveraging retail data to connect sales representatives at a tactical level.

Initial Implementation

Following the data assessment, Belchim has begun to implement some of SIGMA’s recommendations like a cohesive data mart and visual dashboards. Tom Wood, General Manager at Belchim Crop Protection USA, LLC  stated that

SIGMA’s ability to accumulate large amounts of data from a variety of sources and put it in a workable design (dynamic dashboards, models, etc.) is impressive. Putting market data into a dynamic database with pull-down options makes our Market Opportunity Assessments easier as well addressing adhoc questions on the markets we compete in easier. Overall, I think we are on the right path with SIGMA, but I think the best is yet to come.”

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Belchim Crop Protection USA (“Belchim USA”) is an agrochemical/biological company focused on crop protection and pest mitigation, which leverages the strong innovation and R&D culture of its European parent. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Belchim USA is one of the only and largest independent crop protection companies, deeply driven toward continuous innovation and commercialization around new products, bringing both conventional and biological products to the Agriculture and Turf & Ornamental industries in the United States.

Data Assessment For Strategic Insights


An agricultural crop protection manufacturer was looking to determine how their internal data sources could help inform strategic business decisions for the upcoming crop year. The company had been collecting customer and product sales data consistently for a few years but an assessment of the quality and completeness of the data had never been reviewed.

In order to be successful, the company would need to overcome a series of challenges.


In order to address these challenges in the requested timeline and gain insights quickly, SIGMA recommended an initial data assessment. The objective of the data assessment was to align the company’s key internal data sources to identify insights that the CEO could present at the upcoming board meeting and provide recommendations to leverage those insights to inform future strategies.

Initially, SIGMA Data Scientists reviewed the internal data sources for quality, completeness, and cleanliness. The team worked to align the disparate data sources based on commonalities and unique identifiers to gain initial insights.

Following the initial data work, the team conducted a virtual workshop with company stakeholders. The purpose of a workshop is to allow SIGMA team members the opportunity to share initial findings and for company stakeholders to lend knowledge to outstanding questions. This also allows for a discussion to determine if additional data is available to assist with filling in any gaps.


The data assessment provided the company with a realistic view of the current state of their data along with data-driven insights. Insights shared at the annual board meeting focused on:

Additional insights gleaned from the data assessment showed areas that required a plan of action to address potential issues related to lack of data and customer attrition.

The data assessment showed:

Lack of data: Although the company had been collecting sales data for 2-3 years, the data was not consistent and was only being collected from a small number of distributors. The SIGMA team completed an analysis on the data provided but the data available was not representative of the overall business.

Based on this finding, SIGMA provided a strategy for acquiring additional data that could be incorporated into the current data set for a more complete view. These recommendations included outreach to distributors to collect monthly sales data and investment in external market and competitive data sources.

Customer Attrition: From the data that was available, the SIGMA team was able to determine that at the end of Q2 of the current year, 30% of customers that had made a purchase the previous year, had not yet made a purchase in the current year. An analysis of customer sales data showed that over 50% of those customers that had not made a purchase in the current year were associated with the same distributor. In addition, 30% of those non-repeat customers had previously purchased the same product.

These insights prompted SIGMA to work with company stakeholders to develop a plan for a more in-depth customer performance analysis. Additional analysis would help the team to:

  • Understand the reasons for attribution and help inform engagement moving forward
  • Determine commonalities among those customers who did not have repeat purchases to understand potential attrition drivers (location, product/technology, purchase timeframe, distributor)
  • Communicate findings to sales teams with a plan for outreach to distributors to collect information (calling campaign, email campaign, onsite visits)

The initial data assessment conducted by SIGMA, provided the company with a clear path forward in terms of current state, recommendations for data collection, and produced valuable customer insights that required additional analysis to potentially win-back sales for the current year.

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Starting Your Data Journey

Business Challenge

The decision to begin investigating and using your company’s data to gain insights is one that can lead to immense ongoing benefits, but beginning a data journey can be a significant undertaking. For most organizations at the beginning of this journey, data is scattered throughout your organization in different formats, within different systems, being managed by different departments. The overwhelming question in most cases is “Where do we even start?”

Many data and analytics firms will push you toward building a data mart to house all your data, and although that may be the best solution down the line, the price tag that accompanies a truly well-structured data mart isn’t going to help your ROI this year. Maybe you’re thinking progress is progress but will you feel that way when you’re convincing your stakeholders and leadership team to approve additional budget for your data journey next year? What will you say when they ask to see the progress that has been made and you have very little to immediately show for it?

SIGMA Approach

In order to get to ROI and insights quickly, SIGMA always recommends an initial data assessment. The objective of the data assessment is to explore your organization’s key data sources to identify business insights and recommendations related to leveraging data to inform future strategies.

An initial data assessment allows SIGMA to analyze the quantity, completeness, consistency, and cleanliness of data sources while also producing actionable insights related to customers, product/service activity, and a thorough analysis of your organization’s contact data.

Data-Driven Results

Once an initial data assessment is complete, the SIGMA team will work with your organization to:

  • Define key metrics/KPIs
  • Provide a recommended approach to data standardization
  • Advise on additional analyses that could lead to deeper insights
  • Recommend supplemental data sources to add to your data set

The data assessment approach to starting your data journey provides your organization with a realistic view of the current state of your data and a tailored approach for moving forward.

Immediate insights provide your team with the ability to strategize and leverage findings to convince stakeholders of the value that a data journey can offer.

In addition, unlike the prospect of taking on a data mart build which can take months with costs ranging from $50,000-$500,000, a data assessment with SIGMA can typically be completed within 60 business days with a budget of $5,000-$15,000.

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Client Success Case Study: Highly Targeted Prospects for New Product Marketing

Highly Targeted Prospects for New Product Marketing

The SIGMA team helped our agricultural sciences client to identify a highly targeted prospect list for new product marketing based on real client data. The result was an estimated 40% return on investment.


An agricultural sciences company focused on crop protection and precision technology, required a strategic approach to marketing its new product to its distribution channel. The product, which would introduce new technology to the market, would only be available to certain market regions, based on location and crop acres.

In addition to the introduction of new technology and specific regional constraints, there were inventory limitations that required the company to be selective in its plan for distribution.


In order to target qualified prospects and effectively allocate marketing dollars, the company worked with SIGMA Data Insights to implement a data-driven approach to target selection.

Based on a longstanding client relationship, SIGMA’s Data Analysts and Client Service team members aligned efforts with company Product Managers to determine selection criteria to produce a highly targeted list of prospects that could be reviewed and marketed to. The selection criteria focused on:


While in the past, the company had stretched internal capacity and marketing dollars to market new products and technology to lists that included over 7,200 prospects, using this strategic, highly targeted approach, SIGMA was able to narrow down the list to approximately 100 qualified prospects.

The targeted prospect list included accompanying customer data that answered the following questions:

This approach provided the company with a manageable list of prospects that could be evaluated and marketed to based on real data.

The result was increased visibility into prospect behavior, more effective allocation of marketing dollars, and a plan to “drive direction,” as stated by a company Product Manager.

The highly targeted prospect list paired with additional marketing efforts, assisted in increasing overall product revenue by $250,000+ over a 2 year period as well as a 40% return on investment.

Download case study

SIGMA Data Insights Rebranding

SIGMA Marketing Now SIGMA Data Insights

We are excited to announce that we are in the midst of completing a rebranding effort in response to our evolving focus and corporate vision. At the heart of this rebranding is a change of our company name to SIGMA Data Insights. This name change is strategic and emphasizes the capabilities of our team, what we do and what we love.

Coinciding with the unveiling of our new brand, we have launched a new website that we invite you to explore ( The new site focuses on the industries we serve and solutions that promote profitable customer relationships and identify opportunities in evolving markets.

What this means for our clients is that we are conducting business as usual with a renewed focus and drive to live up to our new name. As our new brand is unveiled, you will see the surface changes right away with our new logo and corporate color scheme, but this rebrand is not just cosmetic. Our team has taken the time to analyze our approach to the markets we serve, and reinterpret how we work with clients and partners on a day to day basis.

“While the technology we use and complexity of the data we analyze continues to change and mature, our mission has remained the same – create more profitable customer relationships through analytics, marketing technology and data-driven strategy to drive results for our clients. This rebrand from SIGMA Marketing to SIGMA Data Insights, reinforces our focus on all things data as well as our motivation to help our clients successfully reach their business goals, ” said Stefan Willimann, CEO.

If you have questions or comments about our rebrand, send us an email!

Series: Building Great Dashboards Part 4: Dashboards Are Like Plants, They Need Tending

Part 4: Dashboards are Like Plants, They Need Tending

Building Great Dashboards Series

Part 4: Dashboards are Like Plants, They Need Tending

This is the fourth, and final, part of our series on building great dashboards. If you have not read the earlier posts you can find them here:

Part 1: Gathering Requirements

Part 2: Creating a Mock-Up

Part 3: Solicit Feedback While Building a Dashboard

Our previous posts have explained several steps in the process of building dashboards. This post will focus on launching the dashboards and maintaining them.


The most important aspect of a successful launch is to make sure everyone who will be using the dashboard has seen the finished product and knows how to use it. If this is the first dashboard they are using, you will need to cover the basics of credentials and navigation as well. In a perfect world, doing each of these sessions one-on-one is the best way to ensure success. If the team is small enough and you have time, then go for it! More often though, this will be done in a large group, either in-person or remotely over a screen-sharing service. Either way, it is useful to record your sessions so that they can be viewed at a later date by current users and by new team members as part of their onboarding.


Is anyone even using this dashboard? That is the question many analysts may ask themselves after launch, and with most dashboard platforms you can look in at usage metrics to see who and how often users are logging in. Here are some key questions to focus on:

  1. Have all users logged in? – Check-in with anyone who has not signed in after a week or two to ensure they know how to access the dashboard and do not have any questions.
  2. Are users logging in after the initial burst of excitement around the launch? – People usually log in a lot right after the launch and then usage may drop off. This is natural as users initially tend to revert back to their previous workarounds, rather than using the dashboard. Make sure to remind users about the value of the dashboards and see if anything needs to be tweaked now that users have had access to it for a few weeks.
  3. Are all the different roles using it?  – For example, if you built a dashboard for both sales and marketing teams, but only the marketing users are using it, check in with the sales team and see why. Is there something missing? What about their previous workarounds do they prefer? Many times, you will find that users do not want to ask for additional functionality immediately following a launch but sometimes the simplest updates can cause them to adopt.

After the initial launch period, you can keep an eye on usage and use periodic check-ins with the team to discuss how things are going and if their reporting needs have changed. Discuss how to incorporate these new requests into the dashboard and keep them up-to-date and relevant.

If your dashboard begins to get complicated or “too busy” with additional updates, then it may be time to spin off a new dashboard for specific questions.

The Great Dashboard Portal in the Sky

No matter how successful the launch, or how meticulous you are with maintenance, every dashboard eventually needs to be sent to the great dashboard portal in the sky.

Things are constantly changing. Maybe the team has been re-organized and has different goals. Maybe different data and systems are being used. Maybe it is just too complicated to keep tweaking and would be better to start fresh. No matter the ultimate cause of death, eventually every dashboard needs to be refreshed for the last time and shut down. Use this opportunity to take what you have learned and start the whole process over again to build a better, newer version. Try not to get too attached to any particular dashboard and always remember that you are trying to answer questions and make users’ work easier – not hold onto a dashboard for as long as possible.


Thank you for reading this series on building great dashboards. We really hope that it has been helpful for you now, and will continue to be a resource in the future. Feel free to drop us a comment to let us know what is – or is not – working for you. We are curious explorers here at SIGMA. Although we think this is the best way to build dashboards today, we are always discovering how to do things better tomorrow.

I want to give special thanks to Alyshia Olsen. She presented Design with the User in Mind at Tableau Conference 2017, which helped inspire the way SIGMA builds dashboards. You can check out that presentation and see other work she has completed at her website:

Series: Building Great Dashboards Part 3: Solicit Feedback While Building

Part 3: Solicit Feedback While Building a Dashboard

Building Great Dashboards Series

Part 3: Solicit Feedback While Building a Dashboard

This is part three of our four-part series on building great dashboards.  If you have not read Part 1: Gathering Dashboard Requirements or Part 2: Creating a Dashboard Mock-Up, you may want to go back and read them.

In our previous blog post, we explained the importance of building a mock-up. In this post, we will explain the value of soliciting user feedback throughout the dashboard building process. You may be thinking that between the requirements meeting and the mock-up that you have spent quite enough time getting feedback, however, in our experience the best dashboards are created with feedback throughout the process. Despite gathering requirements and feedback on the mock-up, nothing is like showing users a working dashboard to get some great insights into their thinking and usage.

How to gather feedback

It is best to have short, weekly meetings with users to discuss the latest improvements to the dashboards and gather their thoughts. Below are some ideas on how to effectively use your time together.

See how users interact

When possible let the users see the dashboard, and watch how they interact with it. Try to refrain from explaining the dashboards and instead let users explore. This user exploration will help you identify what parts and pieces of the dashboard may be confusing and could require some adjustments. It may be helpful to give users a specific task, such as answering a question, and see how they navigate through the dashboards and respond. In our current remote environment, our team can send users a link to a dashboard and ask them to take a video of the screen as they try to answer the question. Be sure to ask users to think out loud so you can determine where any confusion is taking place or give tips for easier and more efficient ways to answer the question using the dashboards.

What if I have 25 users?

You don’t need to meet weekly with all users if there is a large group. Meeting with a few key users is fine, but make sure to have a check-in with the entire group midway through the project to make sure you have not veered too far off course. Also, feel free to pushback if you feel requests do not represent the entire group. If there are a few different “types” of users (for example if sales and marketing team members are using the same dashboard) then it is important that all the user types send a representative to the weekly meeting.

Watch out for HIPPOs! (Highly Paid Person’s Opinion)

Try to understand the dynamics of the team you are building a dashboard for. There may be a leader (a HIPPO) who will tell you exactly what they want to see, without taking into account what their team members need. At SIGMA we have found the best way to handle this is to build a separate view for the leader, which is at a higher level than what the rest of the team needs.

What to do with feedback

You are not the end-user

This is so important to remember that it bears repeating: you are not the end-user. (You do, however, have valuable knowledge that your end-user may not – more on that later). You have built a beautiful mock-up, gathered feedback, and agreed on the direction, but now users want to add a lot more filters to clutter things up or they want to add a data table that ruins the simplistic, visual design you were going for. They are destroying your beautiful project! Except they are not. They are trying to create a tool that is useful for them. Sometimes it is helpful to have fifteen filters on a dashboard – if it really solves a specific problem for a user, so be it. In addition, oftentimes having a data table available somewhere in the dashboard is useful for users who want to dive deeper.

Remember that you will not be using the final dashboard to answer questions and solve challenges. Your users will. When users ask for additions that are functional, but not beautiful err on the side of giving them those features.

But you can push back

It may sound like we are advocating for doing whatever users’ request, and we are suggesting that should be the default, but there are times to push back. You are more knowledgeable than your users about the data available and the best visualization techniques. Here are some examples of when to push back and share your point of view instead:

  • Do not align with goals: Oftentimes users forget what specific goals this dashboard may have had. It is best to gently remind users of that, and let them know what they are requesting may be added in the future.
  • Technical problems: Some things just cannot be done given the data you have and the software you are using. You should also push back if they are asking for things that may slow down the dashboard.
  • Build what your users need, not what they want: People often want flashy dashboards that look fun to use, but often what they need is just a few standardized reports to help them get through their day. No one opens up dashboards for the fun of it – they are trying to solve a problem quickly and move onto the next task.

At the end of this process, hopefully you have dashboards you are proud of and that users are excited to start using. In the fourth, and last, part of our series we will explain what to do once the dashboards are launched.

What Do You Wish You Could Go See At The Henry Ford?

What do you wish you could go see at The Henry Ford?

What do you wish you could go see at The Henry Ford?

As we think about the new normal for our day to day operations at SIGMA, we are also forced to reflect on what we miss about a time before COVID-19 significantly changed our working environment. What is one of the things we miss the most? Our face-to-face client interactions. Unfortunately, due to our no business travel policy during this time, we can’t go see our clients like our friends at The Henry Ford.

So, we asked our team “what do you wish you could go see at The Henry Ford?”

Download PDF of our team’s responses.

To learn more about The Henry Ford, visit

Bynder Certified Service Partner

SIGMA Marketing Insights Announces Bynder Partnership

SIGMA Marketing Insights Announces Bynder Partnership

Rochester, NY: SIGMA Marketing Insights (SIGMA) announced that it has joined Bynder as a Certified Service Partner. Bynder, the global leader in digital asset management (DAM), works hand-in-hand with partners like SIGMA to grow their clients’ businesses through DAM implementation, custom integration and managed support services.

Marketers are producing more digital content than ever before and distributing it across an increasingly complex web of platforms and channels. As a result, organizations need a solution to store, manage, and distribute branded content with ease and speed. Bynder provides brands with a single platform to centralize all digital assets, drive better brand consistency, deliver faster time to market, and foster more efficient digital collaboration.

“SIGMA’s most valuable client/partner relationships all have in common a clear understanding of specific business goals. These are mission critical requirements for developing a smart data-driven strategy that drives ROI and business growth,” said Stefan Willimann, SIGMA’s CEO. “Bynder adds yet another way for SIGMA to add overall value to our clients. Our team has been working with Bynder for 3+ years and our clients have experienced the value of a Bynder implementation paired with managed support services.”

SIGMA’s partnership with Bynder is part of its initiative to focus on key technology relationships in 2020. SIGMA is in the process of establishing partnerships with best in class technology organizations that will add value to SIGMA’s current clients and create connections with organizations that are interested in SIGMA’s core capabilities.

“We are thrilled to welcome SIGMA as part of our community of trusted partners,” said Brad Kofoed, Bynder’s Senior Vice President, Global Alliances & Channel. “SIGMA’s laser focus on analytics, marketing technology and data-driven programs that drive results makes them a natural fit as a Bynder Certified Service Partner, and we look forward to continuing our work with the SIGMA team to mutually support continued customer success.”


About SIGMA Marketing Insights

SIGMA Marketing Insights is an agency, hyper focused on creating profitable customer relationships through analytics, marketing technology and data-driven strategy. SIGMA creates a collaborative environment where clients and partners talk strategy with senior leadership, insights with data scientists, tech integration with the database team and map out multichannel solutions with the client engagement team to achieve specific business goals. SIGMA is based in downtown Rochester, NY with a strategic group also located in Boston, MA.

About Bynder
Bynder is the global leader in digital asset management (DAM), providing the most powerful and scalable SaaS solution for brand management. Recognized for its intuitive user experience, Bynder helps more than 1,000,000 brand managers at 1,800 organizations, including Spotify, Puma and Icelandair, to create, share and organize the full lifecycle of their digital content in the cloud. Founded in 2013, Bynder has since grown to over 350 employees in seven offices around the globe, including the Netherlands, USA, Spain, UK and UAE. The company is backed by Insight Partners. For more information, visit

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Media Contact: Mallory Tabolt | 585-278-7414 |