A Unified Customer View is the Key to Leveraging Big Data in Retail

Retail / eCom | Sectors   |   
Published October 28, 2013   |   
Stephen Duncan

At no point in human history have organisations and individuals had more access to information than they do today. For retailers, technology is capable of revealing truly beneficial insight regarding potential and existing customers, but for many this information remains shrouded.

As discussed in the previous instalments of this article, Business Intelligence (BI) is increasingly becoming a driver of conversions and retention, increasing efficiency and profit alike. Terms like Big Data are bandied about, yet for many organisations, leveraging huge quantities of data to yield accurate insight can be a challenge.

These challenges are broadly defined by structure and data. For businesses with IT systems in place, the goal will be to translate existing data structures into a common format. For many retailers using ‘silo’ systems, capturing data and standardising the information will absorb the greatest amount of initial resource investment.

Ahead of Power Retail’s webinar on the same topic Thursday November 28, here are some helpful hints for developing accurate customer insights from your data:

  • Begin with the right solution – Business management softwares such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) that are aligned with BI solutions can give mid-sized retailers the tools they need to improve customer and supplier interactions, staff efficiency and the bottom line. Simpler solutions exist for smaller businesses so it always pays to do plenty of research.
  • Spend time and resources in cleaning your data – Existing data may be disparate and inadequately formatted for deriving a unified customer view. However, matching good data with the right system is the key to creating a worthy outcome from this information, which means spending time and money on bringing these two things together is definitely worthwhile.

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