19 May 2016

Kurt Salmon and ITC Infotech are hosting an exclusive roundtable dinner to discuss big data analytics as a disruptive innovation opportunity to enhance customer experience.

Leading academic expert in retail, Professor Jonathan Reynolds, Academic Director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management, will share his thoughts on retail innovations and consumer experience.

A synopsis of Prof. Reynolds session: Major retail enterprises are not new to large datasets. But big data, it is suggested, are different: comprising exceptionally large datasets which are not susceptible to analysis using conventional software tools, or which are inherently too complex to easily reveal patterns, trends, and associations. For many retailers, therefore, big data offer the possibility of obtaining real insight into retail business problems—ranging from customer insight (particularly in markets where conventional data is missing), merchandising, through to operations and supply chain. But whilst the retail sector has high potential to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness improvements from the meaningful analysis of big data, not everyone is convinced that this is happening. This talk reviews the potential, the evidence of performance and sets out the challenges that retail firms face in their approach to big data. These range from the danger that exists in their use as substitutes for personal interaction with customers. the need for specialist analytics talent and enterprise capabilities, and the lack of an appropriate mindset amongst leaders , that might prevent the development of the larger commercial questions to which big data analytics could potentially provide answers. The risk is that big data generate superficially interesting but ultimately uncommercial insights. And as renowned UK statistician the late Sir Claus Moser once famously observed, ‘if a figure looks interesting, it’s probably wrong.