Big data analytics is the key to identifying ‘breakthrough relationships’ and improving profit margins in retail

What practical and useful role does big data analytics play in a retail environment? Well, according to most experts the answer is a significant one. Retail executives are all acutely aware that because of the influence and proliferation of big data they have the power and sophistication to analyse the world around them and are now able to quickly identify new customers. Big data analytics helps businesses break down demographics and spending habits, so that they can better-target those consumers most likely to patronize their businesses.

However, according to Experian QAS, big data also plays another vital function: it helps businesses identify which customers are likely to stay true. Experian believes that it’s vitally important for retailers to use data to improve relationships with their existing patrons. Advanced data analytics can help companies work out which, of all their current customers, will remain most loyal? Identifying loyal shoppers can be incredibly beneficial for retailers: knowing which customers will likely spend the largest amounts over the longer term can help businesses refine their marketing strategies to maximise income. TechRepublic has claimed that the key to improving profit margins in retail is the concept of “breakthrough relationships.” TechRepublic argues that as not all customers are created equal: big data gives business the ability to quickly identify their biggest spenders.

John Weathington, president and CEO of management consulting firm, Excellent Management Systems, believes that the retail industry has finally come to two significant realisations: firstly, relationships are just as important as products and services, and secondly, companies can make “breakthrough” positions by dominating specific markets:

“The cultivation of a fiercely loyal market starts with an executive decision to offer breakthrough relationships,” Weathington said:
“Any decision that involves breakthrough positioning cannot be made capriciously – with it comes a commitment to install the key capabilities required to support it, which in this case, involves a sizable investment in big data analytics.”

However, he believes that it’s important that companies work to ensure data quality before they identify their loyal customers. If retailers proceed in these initiatives with incomplete or inaccurate information, they could be missing out on a significant portion of potential profits. He believes that before they begin to optimize their marketing approaches, vendors must start with only the purest information derived from the most reliable and robust data sets.

Elastic Analytics: end-to-end business intelligence and big data analytics solution available via AWS will address the growing problem of big data management claims Capgemini

Big data management is a growing problem facing businesses around the world. Many businesses hold vast reserves of unstructured and often unprotected data, and struggle to extract the necessary information that will deliver the greatest business advantage. Several companies have identified that
solving this big data problem represents a key opportunity, but few have come up with a workable solution as yet. Firms like SAP have offered new analytics tools through its HANA platform which it hopes will help businesses better-manage the ever-growing amounts of data that are coming on-stream. The German software firm originally loaded its HANA analytics database platform as an enterprise cloud service into the cloud in May. HP has also taken interest in the market, and warned earlier this year that companies will need to move their systems into the cloud if they hope to compete in the new landscape.

Technology and outsourcing services firm, Capgemini, is the latest company to enter the sector. It has unveiled a new service for firms to help better manage the ever-growing amounts of data, by utilising Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform. Capgemini claims the Elastic Analytics services will offer customers an end-to-end and big data analytics solution and will support most leading business intelligence (BI) software packages. Moreover, AWS’ adaptable nature makes Elastic Analytics one of the most flexible and cost effective big data solutions available.

Capgemini senior vice president for business information management, Scott Schlesinger, said in a statement:

“Organizations are continuously looking for optimized solutions that deliver shorter time-to-value advanced analytics. AWS is a highly adaptable and extensible platform that rapidly offers organizations the ability to launch and sustain their advanced analytics initiatives.”
According to Lanny Cohen, global chief technology officer at Capgemini:
“Organizations are struggling with the deluge of data and the ability to rapidly respond to new demand for insight from their business users. Cloud offers a way to deliver solutions quickly but BI and big data infrastructure is complex to set up.”
“Capgemini partners with the leading cloud providers globally, and most recently has worked closely with AWS to create Elastic Analytics, a new end-to-end business intelligence and big data analytics solution available via AWS, to directly address this need.”

MDM, 2013: what can delegates and sponsors expect from Whitehall Media’s Mobile Device Management conference?

It won’t be long now until Whitehall Media, the UK’s market-leading business-to-business multi-platform media group, stages its latest conference – Mobile Device Management, 2013 – ‘delivering an enterprise mobility and BYOD strategy for corporate, business and government.’ The event will be held at the Hotel Russell, London, on 9 October, and promises to be the biggest Mobile Device Management event of the year. The conference is being partnered by a number of industry-leading companies like Intel, Blackberry, Computer weekly and Enterprise Management 360˚, and is sponsored by a number of brand-leading companies including Airwatch, EE, Aruba, Wandera, Diligent, ClickSoftware, Infoblox, ICSA, LANDesk and Cloudpath. Continue reading…

Enterprise Cloud Computing and Virtualization Conference, 2014

Whitehall Media, the leading organiser of strategic, content-focussed Enterprise Cloud Computing and Virtualization conferences

for Senior IT and Corporate decision-makers will be running its 5th Annual Enterprise Cloud Computing and Virtualization Conference and Exhibition on 20 March, 2014 at the Hotel Russell, London. We are aiming to deliver yet another high-quality, content-focussed conference programme at what will surely prove to be the year’s most prestigious and topical event surrounding the deployment of Enterprise-Wide Cloud and Virtualization Infrastructures across small, medium and large companies across the UK. Anyone who may be considering attending is advised to book as early as possible, as the conference is already proving to be popular with delegates. Continue reading…

Businesses see the value in big data analytics, but struggle to implement adequate structures claims Teradata

Most businesses can see the value in big data analytics, but struggle when it comes to unravelling the insights that such data can deliver. That claim is made by Teradata in its recently released Teradata Data Driven Marketing Survey 2013, conducted through a blind survey of 2,200 marketers worldwide in March and May this year. Continue reading…

TaKaDu: turning raw big data into knowledge

What’s the most precious resource known to man? Well, it has to water. A lack of water leads to famine, war and death. Water is so important that mankind has spent centuries trying to use technology to manipulate this precious resource; from Archimedes’ screw for drawing water uphill to Roman aqueducts, man has tried to better exploit the resource. Unfortunately the global population now stands at over 7 billion and demand for water continues to rise exponentially. The OECD predicts that demand is projected to increase by 50 per cent between 2000 and 2050, and that 40 per cent of the world’s population will by then be under water stress, yet according to the World Bank we lose 50 billion cubic metres of water a year through leaks and bursts. Obviously new and smarter technologies are needed to meet this insatiable demand. Continue reading…

Public Sector Enterprise ICT, 2013: Government ICT Strategy – why you can’t afford to miss the most powerful Government ICT event of the year

Whitehall Media, the UK’s leading organiser of strategic, content-focussed public sector conferences and events for Government, Business and Industry across UK, would like to remind all potential delegates that places on our 5th Public Sector ICT conference are in great demand, so if you are considering attending November’s conference, then we would advise that you book your place quickly. Continue reading…

SDN, 2013: why you can’t afford to miss the leading SDN event of the year?

Whitehall Media, the UK’s market-leading business-to-business multi-platform media group, would like to remind all delegates that time is running out to book your place on one of the most anticipated SDN conferences of the year: Software-Defined Networking, 2013 – transforming network architecture. This conference promises to be the UK’s leading event for the discussion and delivery of SDN, OpenFlow and network virtualisation solutions from an involved and strategic perspective. Continue reading…

Big data analytics: how data analysis can improve customer service strategies

Where does the real value of big data lie? For many the answer would be in attracting new customers. It’s undoubtedly true that many enterprises use big data analytics in order to attract new customers and extend the reach of their brand. However, a significant number of businesses are increasingly using the power of big data to improve their relationship with their existing customers.

Companies are now using big data analytics to improve customer service. It’s understandable when you consider that most customers today demand prompt, reliable and professional answers to their questions. What’s more they want these answers delivered through the right channels, whether that’s phone, email, social media chat or mobile application. The customer is still king, and it’s therefore incumbent on businesses to offer solutions and answers through the customer’s preferred communication channel of choice.

So how can big data analytics transform customer service strategies? Well, according to Michele Nemschoff, vice president of corporate marketing at Hewlett Packard, the answer is by giving businesses a real-time insight into the demands and expectations of their customers. The onus is now on businesses to say abreast of technology and adapt to the ever-changing tech landscape in order to ensure that the customer gets what the customer wants:

“Let’s face it – the Internet has changed customer expectations forever,” Nemschoff wrote on her corporate blog. “In order to gain a competitive edge, companies need to find new and better ways to improve the customer experience on all levels.”

Nemschoff added that companies have never been in a better position to analyse the desires and expectations of their customers than right now. Thanks to the millions of blog posts, tweets, “likes” and comments submitted through CRM systems every day, companies now have the unprecedented ability to uncover a great deal of information about how people like to receive customer service. Businesses can, and must, use this data to devise predictive analytics in relation to each demographic within their client bases. What’s more, they can also use this information to market more products and services to their most loyal customers.

However, the success or failure of such endeavours is entirely dependent on data quality. If the data is suspect or inaccurate, then predictive analysis is of little or no value and will do nothing to improve the business/customer bond. She believes that although all businesses are looking to improve their analytic capabilities, their efforts will be fruitless unless they are gathering precise, accurate and relevant information on each of their customers.