With NRF 2018 in full swing there are countless streams of insight emanating from seemingly innumerable sources all recounting the latest trends and technologies.  One common thread is anything but surprising: the volumes of data now swilling around the enterprise are reaching epic proportions yet the latent insight this contains is proving extremely challenging to divine.

One of the most critical uses for such insight continues to be Moving Closer To The Customer - providing useful information to enhance the customer experience whilst at the same time offering opportunities for true personalisation.  Time and again I meet with customers who reaffirm that data, per se, is not their issue - in fact, in many cases they've got far too much of it to know what to do with - today at least...  Instead, today's concerns centre around how to leverage such amassed reservoirs and to generate actionable outcomes from the inherent messages within.  The age-old problem of turning Data into Information.

The statistics in this article that this type of analysis uncovers proves that Retailers worldwide are still not benefiting in anything like a sufficient manner.  A 5% (sometimes less) cross-industry exploitation of campaign and promotion personalisation suggests that there is still much work to be done - and of course, the potential prize is therefore massive.

A Data Strategy which incorporates governance, residence, usage, sourcing, storage, transformation, Business Intelligence (BI) and the more contemporary concepts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is the most sensible way of moving towards becoming a Data-Centric organisation.  It's not exactly easy but here at Hitachi we'd be delighted to help Retailers everywhere to begin the journey.