"I don't want any more data"

At the ‘Future Retail Strategy Congress 2017’ this week in London, one of the presenters echoed a sentiment I’ve heard myself from many major UK retailers: “don’t talk to me about more data, I don’t want more data… what I want to know is how to get more value from our data”.

It’s hard to attend a conference such as the ‘Future Retail Strategies’ without talking about data and hearing terms like “data is king”, or “data is the new money” and myriad companies investing more and more in Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.  Indeed, Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) is one of these companies with our investment in our Unified Brand Experience (UBX) Cloud Services for retail brands.  But the cry is how to make sense of this data?

According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years. So yes, there is more data, in fact, lots more data. The concern from retailers is that ‘big data’ means big teams.  The volume of data is only on the increase, from online-reviews and the ever-increasing number of social media channels.  Therefore, it’s no shock that more channels = more noise and with this comes the cry “do not talk to me about big data”. 

Turn data into decisions by working as ‘one team’ with your own brand suppliers.

For most retailers, as the data has increased the teams managing this have just not been able to keep pace and for some the teams have even been reduced.  Specifically, for retail private brand teams who are trying to manage often thousands of their own brand products across hundreds of suppliers.  Part of the solution is analytics, such as our own UBX Cloud Services which help the own brand team get ‘one view’ of product performance, but there is then the need to add knowledge and to maximise resource.  In both instances, retailers can achieve this by working as ‘one team’ with their suppliers.  Often the simplest solutions are the best, sharing information with suppliers will not only get more eyes on the problem but will also make better use of their product and domain expertise.

James Butcher

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