Summary: Remodeling the Model


Problem Statement

Executive leadership at 84.51°, Kroger’s retail data science, insights and media arm, came to BS LLC seeking research, design, and strategic communications support for an improved framework for their macro process and capacity. Put simply: help 84.51° dial in the high-level “story” of their analytical superstructure’s abilities to deliver actionable insights. Our scope included renaming and rewriting the master-workflow, and designing a new, clearer presentation surrounding it.


Process I: Grappling with Structures and Processes

By understanding the way  84.51° collects, analyses and then presents data, we were able to achieve clarity and present a path forward. 


Our process included an in-depth kickoff and deep dive into 84.51° ‘s capabilities, how they frame those capabilities to stakeholders, the challenges associated with the current framework, and the goals of a reframed presentation. Our clients demonstrated a live role-play of a previous presentation in order to educate us on the real-world context of cross-departmental presentations and how they’re received. We led internal discussions and conducted workshops designed to dissect the current process, identify limitations, and piece together possible solutions.


Ultimately, the crux of the issue turned out to be philosophical: when we simplify complexity, we lose a flavor of reality.


Process II: A Name for the Nameless

Kroger’s customers’ behaviors and their social, cultural, and economic contexts needed to be taken into account for a more accurate framework to emerge.


As a result of BS LLC workgroup participation, a clear picture emerged of the collected sets of data.  We learned how and why the organization selects and collects inputs and apply insights toward recommended outputs. The challenge lay in a large collection of “intangibles.” Social and geopolitical events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing activities undertaken by competitors, and shifts in customer preferences were among these uncontrollable events.


BS LLC reasoned that without clear decision pathways connected to these intangibles, communication misunderstanding was likely to occur between departments during data presentations and which would result in additional support requests and lack of clarity.


Results: Creating a Map to Guide a Conversation

As a result of our process, we gained additional insights into workflows and mapped them onto a new infographic to facilitate improved presentations between 84.51° analysts and Kroger marketers.


BS LLC proposed name changes for the updated framework designed to reorient both parties away from past expectations and instead to actively improve future outcomes.


Our client’s project lead shared with us that the fruits of our work surpassed the tangible deliverable of a reoriented, redesigned, and rewritten presentation deck. She shared with us that their team benefited from what she called “thought-partnership”—the ability to get into the weeds, split hairs, ask difficult questions without clear answers, and then produce a deliverable that was embracing of complexity yet clear in its communication.