Retailers Lack Key Competencies In Big Data

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 19, 2014

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Even though big data and analytics are the latest buzzwords among retail executives, a new research by IDC revealed that most retailers do not yet have mature big data and analytics competencies across five key dimensions — intent, people, process, technology, and data.

According to IDC, at a broader level big data and analytics will continue to remain of the top investment priorities of retailers. That’s because nearly all of them are aware of the massive, time-sensitive data volumes and velocity that give senior executives sleepless nights. There is also immense opportunity for CIOs in this sector to leverage analytics and big data as it can have an enterprise-wide application in social media, digital and mobile advertising, mobile metadata, instrumented store operations, and item-level RFID.

“Retailers should invest in their big data and analytics competencies as there is a positive correlation between its maturity and successful outcomes of its initiatives. High achievers “skew right” on the maturity curve, while low achievers “skew left.” On average, higher levels of big data and analytics maturity lead to better chances of achieving expected or greater-than-expected benefits,” states the report.

Greg Girard, program director, IDC Retail Insights states that big data and analytics maturity is a multifaceted endeavor across five core dimensions — intent, people, process, technology, and data. Success depends on the absolute level of maturity in each dimension and on aligning the five dimensions at or near the same level of maturity.

IDC identifies the top 10 traits that most distinguish high achievers extend beyond data and technology capabilities, areas that can garner inordinate priority, to include all five dimensions: mature BDA process management, executive leadership, line-of-business (LOB) utilization of BDA insights, collaborative cultures among lines-of-business and analytics groups, and skills in advanced analytics, data and content management, and management of BDA IT hardware.

According to Gigard, today’s hype around big data ignores real challenges retailers face. IT and LOB managers in many retailers often believe they have what it takes to harness the power of big data for improving data-driven decision making. However, the plethora of technology choices; the range of analytics, technology, and management skills can coordinate all the moving parts to successfully implement a cohesive BDA strategy.

Retailers lacking mature big data and capabilities or well-conceived plans for acquiring these capabilities stand to lose ground to competitors with more mature capabilities able to deploy analytics pervasively to optimize operational, tactical, and strategic decisions.