1 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 1 retail consulting and industry thought leadership The Big Deal About Big Data Research Study Presented by: The Parker Avery Institute the education, training and research unit of The Parker Avery Group
2 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 2 Definition Big Data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decisionmaking. (Source: Gartner)
3 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 3 Introduction The definition on the previous page sounds like something out of a technical document. To provide more relevant context, here are some concrete examples of what Big Data actually is: 5 billion global mobile phone users billion global internet users in billion active Facebook users 500+ million total photos uploaded to social media sites every day 244 million American internet users in million user generated reviews on Yelp alone 150 times per day mobile phone users check their devices 100 hours of video uploaded on YouTube every minute 9-fold increase in digital information created and shared over the past 5 years it took only 3 years for tablets to outsell laptops and desktops 70% growth in mobile data traffic in 2012 That s Big. 1 All statistics from: FEDTECH:
4 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 4 Every time a customer, employee or business partner picks up their smartphone or other mobile device, data is created sometimes even if they don t even use the device. Almost every interaction human and non-human creates what are sometimes called digital breadcrumbs. Often, these are created without our knowledge, but they are recorded and can be used. One cannot read through a retail publication these days without seeing commentary about Big Data. It has become one of many current buzzwords used across a number of different industries, and many companies are under the impression that Big Data holds secrets beyond their wildest imaginations. Many are hoping Big Data will finally deliver the panacea of customer insights. Or help them gain better perspective into competitive intelligence. Perhaps improve their ability to predict and react to trends that shape and influence their key business decisions. Whatever the motivation, many retailers are considering Big Data initiatives because the amount and variety of data they now can have at their disposal is not only significant, but it is also increasing exponentially. The very definition of Big Data is varied, but in essence it relates to data represented by massive increases in volume, incredible velocity and great variety. This is represented by data that is created every nanosecond of every day across a myriad of different devices, platforms and technologies. So what s the Big Deal? The opportunities that Big Data present to retailers are varied and tremendous, but not without significant obstacles and challenges. In this research study, we explore retailers understanding, use, plans and perceptions of Big Data, which should give you insights on how to best approach your own Big Data initiatives.
5 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 5 Key Findings! 73% of retailers say refining store assortments to be more relevant is their top Big Data opportunity! 68% of retailers believe providing more relevant products and services for their customers and developing more refined customer insights are also top Big Data opportunities! Only 10% of retailers have started Big Data initiatives, while 31% have no Big Data plans! Of those currently investing in Big Data, efforts are primarily focused on Marketing and Customer Relationship Management as well as Merchandising! While there was a great deal of variation, the areas retailers feel will be most impacted by Big Data are Traditional Promotions and Customer Experience! Retailers have not yet begun to strongly consider the organizational impacts that Big Data will have! 72.4% feel that their existing technology is prohibitive and 55.2% are concerned about the upfront IT investment! Overwhelmingly, retailers do not feel their organizations are prepared to handle Big Data
6 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 6 What are the top Big Data opportunities? #1 Refine store assortments to be more relevant #2 Provide more relevant products and services for our customers #3 Develop more refined customer insights to target promotions and offers Since many retailers are trying to match store assortments on more micro-levels to accommodate local customer needs and desires, these top opportunities make sense. This finding also indicates that retailers wish to use Big Data to simultaneously reassess and refine the products they offer to their customers, while developing strategies to better market these new or changed offerings in more targeted ways to these customers. However, even though retailers may be looking at Big Data to determine what to offer their customers, they are not as interested (yet) in using it to optimize their store layout and product placement strategies, which ranked lowest as opportunities. As retailers gain better understanding and incorporate the technologies, processes and roles to use Big Data in their enterprises, certainly these lower-ranked opportunities should be explored, since data from in-store equipment, consumer mobile devices and other sources has great potential for optimizing in-store customer experiences. Retailers are also not quite as ready to tackle supply chain opportunities using Big Data. The ability to better manage demand and replenishment was ranked 4th (out of 6), which indicates that retailers are at least initially focusing their efforts on the demand side of the retail equation. Likewise, study participants did not view the ability to understand and react to competition and new trends as a top opportunity. It seems that retailers are focusing internally for at least the near-term, as they begin to understand the possibilities the Big Data can bring. Perhaps as retailers become savvier about how to reign in, analyze and effectively use Big Data, their focus will include more external factors, such as supply chain partners, competition and trends.
7 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 7 When are retailers investing in Big Data? Already started Within a year 2 years % 24.1% 34.5% 31.0 % have no Big Data plans The fact that only a handful of retailers have already started investing in Big Data aligns with our findings about retailers maturity relative to Big Data in essence, many retailers are still struggling with data they own or pay for, so to invest in Big Data anytime soon may not make much sense. This maturity level is caused by a number of different factors, including aged IT infrastructure and applications, the skills needed from both business and IT staff, as well as the prohibitive cost of new technologies required to handle Big Data. Additionally, many companies want a better confidence of the ROI they can expect to achieve with investments in data and analytics, and they are concerned about how rapidly the environment is changing. Many retailers are also taking their time investigating the best route in understanding how to use and leverage Big Data. This is being influenced by both external and internal factors, such as the wide variety of technology providers who are offering solutions aimed at harnessing and analyzing structured and unstructured data sources, as well as shareholders who are concerned about brand viability in a dynamically changing retail market. Furthermore, with the myriad of other new and emerging technologies in which to invest for example, mobile, RFID and customer experience retailers must make tough decisions about where their investments in both capital and human resources will have the most positive impact on their business.
8 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 8 Where are retailers focusing their Big Data investments? TODAY IN 1-2 YEARS 3+ YEARS MARKETING 29% 25% 25% CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT 28% 44% 8% BUYING 25% 29% 8% PLANNING 24% 48% 4% SOURCING 22% 35% 17% PROMOTIONS MANAGEMENT 20% 40% 24% FULFILLMENT 17% 42% 17% VENDOR MANAGEMENT 17% 39% 9% CHANNEL OPERATIONS 16% 32% 16% PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT 13% 21% 17% It is interesting to note that today s Big Data focus is on Marketing and Customer Relationship Management, but that the focus quickly expands over the next few years to include Merchandising and other areas. Channel Operations and Product Development did not seem to be high near-term Big Data priorities for most retailers.
9 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 9 What areas will be most impacted by Big Data? Perhaps not surprisingly, promotions and customer experience related areas were identified as being most impacted by Big Data initiatives. What was surprising is that over half of respondents also identified supply chain efficiencies and distribution strategies as being moderately to significantly impacted. With most Big Data efforts clearly focused on the demand side, evidently some retailers are already considering the downstream impacts. Retailers have mixed feelings about other areas, such as pricing strategies, omnichannel fulfillment and even social media strategies and mobile marketing. Some felt these would be greatly impacted, while others did not. This is likely to do varying retail models, as well as the fact that Big Data strategies are mostly still in their infancies. It is interesting that mobile marketing did not get more attention, since shoppers mobile devices are significant drivers of Big Data, and on the flip side mobile promotions will likely be driven by information gleaned from Big Data. Areas that retailers do not see much impact are store operations and layout, product development and sourcing. Again, since many retailers are still sorting through how to handle Big Data, the integration with these areas may not yet be on their radar.
10 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 10 How prepared are retailers for Big Data? Retailers admit to being only minimally prepared to handle Big Data initiatives, which underpins their hesitation to invest and move forward in this area. When asked about business and IT skills, roles and responsibilities, business processes and technology, only a handful of retailers feel they are very prepared to handle Big Data across the board.! 80% feel their roles and responsibilities are not prepared to handle Big Data! 68% admit their existing business processes will not support Big Data! 64% say their business skills are minimally to not at all prepared for Big Data! 60% believe their existing technology organization, applications and infrastructure need improving before taking on Big Data Fortunately, retailers understand that Big Data is clearly not just a function of the IT department it transcends across the entire business, and will result in significant changes organizationally as well as systemically. This means that as retailers continue to explore Big Data possibilities, they will need to re-evaluate the way they operate across the enterprise and make appropriate modifications.
11 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 11 Organizational impact of Big Data Retailers have not yet begun to strongly consider the organizational impacts that Big Data will have There were not strong feelings relative to Big Data s impact on retailers Merchandising organizations. The top three roles identified as being moderately to significantly impacted were Pricing Analyst, VP of Merchandising and Director of Merchandising. Roles outside the Merchandising department that retailers felt will be impacted included:! IT! Planning! Marketing (VP Level+)! Customer Service (VP Level+)! Store Operations and Store Management! Business Analysts! Allocations Analysts! Sourcing! Supply Chain Managers This speaks again to the fact that many retailers are still figuring out how and when to work Big Data into their operating model. So even though they understand Big Data will bring organizational change, they have not really begun to plan the specific modifications that will be needed.
12 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 12 What business challenges are stalling Big Data initiatives? Additionally, we found that since many companies still struggle with understanding the ROI and quantifiable benefits that Big Data initiatives can bring, retailers are focusing their investments on projects that are more likely to have a solid business case. Such investments include social media, website video integration, online customer service, e- gift cards, in-store customer experience initiatives, alternative payment methods and mobile.
13 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 13 Final Word Without a doubt, Big Data is a significant factor in today s environment, and it is growing exponentially representing the potential for huge opportunities in retail. There have been a handful of early adapters and success stories, but for the most part, retailers are not truly ready to take on the challenge particularly since technologies, processes and roles to support Big Data are mostly still in their infancy. Existing data issues and antiquated systems are common challenges for retailers who are beginning their Big Data journey. Key transactional, product and customer information should be the solid foundation for any retail data project. Additionally, upfront costs of implementing the technologies to support Big Data often do not have strong business case justification because the understanding, usage of and technologies for Big Data are still emerging. Couple this with the massive organizational and process changes required, and it is no wonder retailers are treading carefully. However, retailers should at least start planning on Big Data initiatives for the near future, because as the volume, velocity and variety of data continues to rapidly expand, those companies who are able to effectively harness, manage and use this tremendous asset will be able to influence and create an entirely new retail world.
14 The Big Deal About Big Data Executive Summary 14 The Parker Avery Group The Parker Avery Group is a boutique strategy and management consulting firm that is a trusted advisor to leading retail brands. We combine practical industry experience with proven consulting methodology to deliver measurable results. We specialize in merchandising, supply chain and the omnichannel business model, integrating customer insights and the digital retail experience with strategy and operational improvements. Parker Avery helps clients develop enhanced business strategies, design improved processes and execute global business models. Learn more about us at: contact us: 3200 Windy Hill Road Suite 950 West Atlanta, Georgia t: f: e:
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