Face Forward: Q&A with Netrush Retail Analytics Director Karla Juarez

Karla Juarez Advisory Director

In the ever-changing digital retail landscape, brands need a growing number of capabilities to be successful in e-commerce. As an often-overlooked lever, business analytics is an increasingly crucial capability necessary for an e-commerce team to succeed. In fact, Cleveland Research Company reports that building out a strong analytics team is a key indicator of a brand’s digital success, right up there with maintaining solid retail partnerships, having a strong marketing strategy, and understanding the consumer.

Karla Juarez, Netrush Advisory Director, joined the Netrush team in 2017 to lead the charge in business analytics. We recently sat down Karla for a quick Q&A session to give us some insight into the inner workings of her role here at Netrush.

What experience did you have prior to Netrush?

Before joining the Netrush team, I was managing a marketing analytics team at Academy Sports + Outdoors. They’re a regional retailer in Houston, Texas. There were almost 300 store locations by the time I left. My experience at Academy Sports gave me a strong foundation for leveraging data in retail, and a better understanding of the Sports & Outdoors category, one of Netrush’s focus.

What’s your role here at Netrush?

When I joined the Netrush team I first started as the Advisory Services Manager but now my title is Advisory Director. Over the course of roughly two years, my day-to-day has changed a lot. The biggest part of my role now is to lead the Business Analyst team. At the moment, we’re focusing on building upon our current forecasting methods and how that looks from one brand to another. In a nutshell, the overarching goal for my role is to help my team move forward, clear up doubts and eliminate ambiguities when it comes to pulling the data needed for the brands to thrive on an e-commerce platform such as Amazon. In the end, we truly are providing the right capabilities to help build strategies for brand growth.

What are some of the challenges that you and the team face in this role?

As the structure of our team has changed, our biggest challenge right now is settling into a groove and meeting the ambitious goals we set for ourselves. More specifically, a lot of our focus is on implementing a new data tool called DemandWorks to better supplement our forecasting process. Essentially, we are shifting to using a new, very powerful forecasting software tool. We really want to keep in mind “the Netrush way” and how best to get our data to better serve our brands. We understand that each brand is in a different stage and the data provided to them will vary — but we are working hard to provide each partner with a solution tailor-made for them.

What Netrush teams do you collaborate with the most?

We’re currently working on finding the best ways to pull certain data and this has us crossing paths with the Software Development team quite often. On a more regular basis, we work closely with Account Management, as our business analysts work to support the Brand Managers in their varied strategies involving the growth of the brands.

For some brands, business analytics isn’t always an internal service. Netrush strives to fill the capability gaps for our brand partners as the landscape shifts. Through our Business Analytics team, Netrush is able to contextualize data for both our internal teams and our partners in order to quickly and efficiently respond to changes. Specifically, we use these insights to maintain inventory health, perform accurate forecasting for purchase planning, and assist brands with merchandising. To top it off, we make data actionable for brands through monthly reporting and business intelligence. With increasing data and fast-paced online retail changes, business analytics will continue to be a key driving factor for brand growth across multi-channel e-commerce.

So when you’re off the clock, what do you like to do?

As far as hobbies go, bullet journaling is something I really enjoy. For me, I like the creative part of it. I also like to go salsa dancing! Back in high school, I learned a specific type of salsa dancing called Casino Rueda. Oh, another hobby of mine is CrossFit. My husband and his business partner own Tectonic CrossFit, just down the road from Netrush.