How will the ‘sentient enterprise’ spark shifts in company culture?
Retailers consistently rank analytics as a strategic priority because they know that data management is the core foundation of getting things right. Likewise, they know that uncovering and acting on data-driven consumer insights is essential to creating differentiation in the marketplace.
However, harnessing Big Data remains a major challenge for the retail industry due to the proliferation of data from structured and unstructured sources, like social media and self-service, real-time interaction — services which, of course, consumers now expect from retailers.
Despite retail’s slow start in operationalizing new understandings from the data, at scale, the industry is in the midst of an analytics revolution. Disparate silos of information are being unified, analytics are becoming automated, and actionable insights are more readily available thanks to the unprecedented collaboration between humans and machines called the sentient enterprise.
The sentient enterprise refers to a culture shift around data in which a retailer democratizes access to information, invites experimentation and repositions IT as collaborator instead of gatekeeper. It’s also a road map that retail leaders can use to unlock the full potential of data analytics.
Originally introduced at eBay, the sentient enterprise improves data agility, adopts a behavior-centric mindset, fosters collaboration, builds repeatable processes and uses algorithms at a scale that leverages connected data and analytics across the retail enterprise.
Retail giant Albertsons used the precepts of the sentient enterprise to build a massive data encyclopedia with managers, reporting: “Our analyst teams are now able to coordinate and collaborate across the globe using centralized process documentation while directly connected to a crowd-annotated data catalog.”
Above all, the sentient enterprise delivers a “LinkedIn for Analytics” social environment to connect data and insights and send the best solutions, ideas and analytics virally throughout the organization.
- 2016 Retail and Consumer Goods Analytics Study – RIS News
- Teradata and Alation Partner to Build Trust in Self-Service Analytics – Teradata
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What factors are keeping retailers from more fully adopting analytics and becoming data-driven organizations? What will it take to create a culture shift around data within retailing?