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Limited Data is a Fact of CatMan Life for Many. Here’s why ...

Author: Sue Nicholls 


Based on the fact that MOST organizations have limited data in one way or another, all approaches to catman work aren't the same. Therefore, not all category management can be created equal (makes sense, right?). A great way to think about this is through a tiered approach.


  • In Tier 1, there is limited data, lower levels of collaboration between Retailers and Manufacturers, inexperience and limited skills with Category Management.
  • Tier 2 builds on Tier 1, with more access to data, and increased collaboration.
  • Tier 3 is the most advanced category management, with a robust data set, extensive resources, and high levels of collaboration between the Retailer and the Vendor.

Different Retailers, different Manufacturers, and different categories may appear in different parts of the continuum based on a combination of these requirements. The outputs from being in a Tier 1 environment due to limited data will be fact-based and strategic, but not to the same level of sophistication as companies who have access to a full suite of data.

In net, you CAN do category management on limited data (most likely in Tier 1, based on the above continuum). It's a matter of understanding your limitations based on the data gaps that you have (we talk about this in the next chapter of this e-book), and establishing realistic expectations for the outputs associated with a more basic approach.


  1. Download our complimentary Category Management Continuum document, which visually explains how there are different tiers of category management, and the requirements behind each of these tiers.
  2. Learn more about Category Management through our complimentary, accredited course on Category Management Overview (via a webinar recording).
  3. Take the first step and get category management training on limited data that helps move your organization forward.


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