Are retailers organized for analytics?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from Oracle Blogs.
Most business leaders now acknowledge the value of Big Data analytics. For many, the lens has shifted to the question, "What’s the business value to my organization and how do I get started?"
The majority of content at the Retail and Consumer Goods Analytics Summit in Chicago last week was about the discipline of data science. Sessions were designed to help retail and consumer goods companies understand how to organize for analytics.
To this end, data science leaders from Walmart and Macy’s were on the agenda. Well-funded and visionary companies are at the bleeding edge of leveraging multi-structured data to drive their businesses forward. Meanwhile, many attendees reported their organizations struggle with operational reporting issues.
There is urgency to act now with respect to analytics. Companies employing advanced analytics throughout their operations are proving every day their advantages over less insight-driven competitors. The challenge is acting with precision when you are just getting started. Embarking on a journey to becoming data driven isn’t easy, but the Summit offered recommendations on how to approach this imperative:
- Understand what Big Data represents to your business. Rather than simply viewing Big Data as a chance to save on data storage costs, the real opportunity is in asking questions of your business that current capabilities cannot support — or in discovering questions you never considered.
- Those in data science straddle the business and technology sides of their companies. One presentation suggested successful companies were establishing Centers of Excellence for Data Science.
- Walmart Labs’ data science leader Esteban Arcaute said a bigger challenge than recruiting analytic talent is developing data driven managers. For suppliers to and competitors of Walmart and Macy’s, the situation can be intimidating. What’s needed is a precision effort around developing and applying data science to the highest impact use cases.
- Identifying and recruiting business leaders who understand the value of analytics is critical. To approach this conversation, it’s helpful to align with the commercial execution of the business. For example, focus on the consumer’s journey, and all the actions that both retailers and suppliers take to influence this process apart and in collaboration with one another.
- To extract the most value from data, it should be managed as a secure unit, and its value exposed appropriately to users throughout the analytic value chain; from those requiring access to daily sales reports to those mashing up multi-structured data to understand and improve a critical customer process.
How prepared today are most big retailers and suppliers to extract meaningful benefits from Big Data analytics? How would you recommend companies that are late to the game go about catching up?