Predictive Analytics (Big Data) in Retail

In today’s hypercompetitive globalized retail environment, massive amounts of data is being gathered from the government, customers and social media by retailers who are looking to implement business intelligence solutions that can enhance their shoppers experience, optimize their supply chains, and improve overall efficiencies. In addition they expect the retail multi-channel experience to flourish and thrive.

In order to properly utilize, extract, and create new meaningful knowledge, retailers must have data that is consistent, usable, accessible, accurate, reliable, and secure across the enterprise. A retailer’s success in managing that data begins with building a framework to establish a comprehensive data management process. The first step of this framework is data governance. While big data is the convergence of more data from more sources than we have ever seen, it also represents a cultural shift in the way retailers connect with consumers in a meaningful way. This bottom line impact of big data is what makes it a business imperative and why retailers around the world it are leveraging it to transform their processes, their organizations and, soon, the entire industry.

Big data analytics is especially promising and differentiating for retailers. Today’s empowered consumers bring attitudes and expectations shaped by experiences across a diverse commercial world to every interaction with retailers. With social media and other information outlets, consumers use data and technology to take control of their shopping experience. As consumer technology adoption and multichannel shopping experiences become the standard practice, data analytics becomes increasingly critical.

To achieve this, a partnership between the business and technology groups is essential. Data Governance is not only an IT function; it must be a cooperative effort between management, IT, and the end users of that data. It includes the people, roles, assets, procedures, policies, and standards needed to successfully administer and manage a company’s information resources.

Big Data initiatives in retail have to integrate lot of structured and unstructured data coming from many sources. The biggest challenge will be to align these data sources to sales and marketing business goals for each of these organizations. A smart data governance layer is critical to bring the power of this big data to the fore. The most effective big data strategies identify business requirements first, and then tailor the infrastructure, data sources and analytics to support the business opportunity.

The trick is to harvest the hidden data from this amalgamated data and apply it to business processes and opportunities. To get to this level of engagement the biggest barrier is the reaction time to consumer preferences and choices. Since integration of structured and unstructured data along with change in sales and marketing tactics, pricing information, and supply chain data could take time, the success of this Big Data initiative depends on deep and clever data manipulation and driving revenue in at least some semi-automated or fully automated processes to react to consumer trends. Big Data provides two main advantages one is for opening new channels and to provide input to tailor products/services of the organization.

Combining data from POS, store card or retail card demographics and large amounts of mobile data buying habits, Big Data can improve the ROI of a retail organization and improve customer stickiness.

A solid IT Data Governance plan aligned with business imperatives to harvest and harness these data sources with a Big Data project would be the key to address the common retail organization issues of revenue enhancement, inventory management and customer loyalty.

The second important aspect of data governance in retail is data security. Data security encompasses data accuracy and protection from data theft/misuse which are very important aspects of retail big data strategy. With well know data breaches at nationwide retail stores, consumers are very sensitive about data security issues. It is extremely critical for retailers to adopt top security measures across the organization to assure all stakeholders doing business with the retail entity.

RoundWorld Solutions unique 360 degree view of Data governance provides a model for administering data in a standardized way across the healthcare organization, which reduces expenditures on data issues and results in better quality data that meets business, consumer data protection which includes consumer financial data and compliance requirements.

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If you would like to discuss the Roundworld Solutions Big Data 360 View Tool, or this article please contact Emi Hara – Vice President, Solutions and Delivery at or contact us directly today.