NEWS22 January 2014

Retailers caught in a data storm, says EIU survey

News North America

US — A new survey of C suite executives has found that nearly all respondents’ businesses had seen a positive economic return from investment in data analysis in strategy.

But the single greatest barrier identified by these executives with regard to making effective use of this data was seen to be figuring out what information is useful “amidst the overload”. This issue was cited by half of survey respondents.

The survey, commissioned by Wipro and carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit among C suite executives in North America and Europe, looked in to how retailers are reacting to, and how leaders are benefiting from, increasing volumes of data.

Some key findings were:

  • All respondents said their firms were prioritising data collection
  • But only 36% believed they had a well-defined policy for analysing the most useful information
  • 78% of respondents had seen a positive economic return on investment in data analysis for strategy area
  • 46% were confident that their firm’s analytical abilities were keeping up with data volumes
  • 32% cited a barrier to using large volumes of data was a concern over whether it would actually improve their decisions

“This research shows that while retailers realise the value of maximizing their use of big data and analytics, many are still unable to utilize the data they are collecting in full,” said Srini Pallia, senior vice president and global head, RCTG (Retail, Consumer Goods, Transportation and Government) Business Unit, Wipro.

“To get the full value from the data they are collecting, retailers need to explore new avenues to apply data analytics throughout the organization that will improve decision making, efficiency and interaction with customers.”

The full report, The Data Storm: Retail and the Big Data Revolution, is available here.