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    Big Data Making Fast Headway in Retail: Study

    Many industry execs already involved in big data projects

    Big data is moving into retail fast, and many industry executives are already in the midst of big data-related initiatives, according to the latest research study by Barrington, Ill.-based retail consultancy Brick Meets Click.

    According to “Moving Forward with Big Data: The Future of Retail Analytics,” two-thirds of the executives recently surveyed are now involved in big data projects and 27 percent of these projects are already in production.

    “In less than a year we’ve seen big data evolve from the province of data scientists to a tool that’s creating value on both the demand and retail sides of retailing,” said Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click and the lead author on the report.

    Among the key findings of the study:

    • Big data is creating value for retailers in several ways, but the most important is supporting faster fact-based decisions.
    • On the demand side, the top focus is on strengthening shopper engagement -- for example, enabling the shift from transaction selling to relationship-based selling.
    • Inventory management dominates as the most important opportunity to impact performance on the supply side of retailing.
    • Marketing sponsors about half of the big data projects now under way.
    • The top barriers to retailer use of big data all involve organizational capabilities, not data or technical constraints.

    The survey results, according to Bishop, are a call to action: It’s clear that there’s now a need for retailers who are benefitting from the power of big data to work together to develop definitions that help every business more confidently align against this emerging opportunity. “This paper is part of the ongoing conversation about big data and retail that’s happening at Brick Meets Click,” added Bishop. “It’s the high octane fuel for real progress.”

    Brick Meets Click is a strategic resource for retailers, suppliers and technology providers who want to make insightful decisions about meeting shopper needs in the digital age.

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