The retail industry is becoming an increasingly data rich environment. With more information being generated across many different aspects of the retail industry and an increasing focus on becoming data driven, it’s impossible to ignore. But many retailers are generating huge volumes of data but without the data science expertise or analytical mindset to take advantage. So, in this episode of the Retail Transformation Show podcast, Oliver Banks explores 3 different aspects to becoming a data driven retailer.

Listen in to this episode to discover:

  • Why it’s hard to be data driven.
  • How to ensure your actions are data driven and effective.
  • And, which critical aspect is often overlooked in the pursuit of becoming a data-centric company.


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3 aspects to becoming a data driven retail business

Becoming data driven is more than just having good data. In fact, there are 3 main considerations discussed in this podcast episode:

  1. The data itself
  2. The action it drives and the corresponding outcome
  3. And the culture of the organisation

The data itself

To become data driven, you’ll need good data. This means that you’ll need to think about:

  • Making data accessible
  • Understanding your data
  • Choosing the right BI (business intelligence) tools for your data
  • Governing your data effectively to build integrity.

Ask yourself:

Is your data relevant, timely, trustworthy and engaging?

Action and outcomes

It’s critical to drive action from your data. In fact, action is naturally embedded in the term “data driven” – no action means no drive. You’ll need to consider the metrics and how these drive the right (or wrong) actions and behaviours. You’ll also need to ensure that your metrics are prioritised and not too plentiful. That way, you’ll know that the action that you drive if focused on what matters most.

To assess if your actions are effective, make sure that they are:
  • Sensible – ensuring actions are practical, reasonable and specific.
  • Informed – blend in experience and knowledge of the topic in question.
  • Intelligent – use a collection of data and information to create knowledge to better inform future decisions.
  • Meaningful – actions are sizeable enough to make a difference, but also achievable.
  • Intentional – you must make a deliberate choice (even if it’s just choosing to do nothing).

Culture and people

Data is not just for your IT department, or your business intelligence team. Nor is it just for the data scientists and analysts. If you want to become a data driven organisation, the whole organisation must look to become data driven.

Start with ensuring that the leadership are truly embracing data.

Look at how you can inspire curiosity across the organisation to better understand both the data and reality.

And share best practises. By illustrating examples and case studies, you celebrate the great data stories as well as inspire further action. Also look at connecting the people across the organisation which may include networking or even reverse mentoring between data specialists and the non-data-savvy senior leaders.

Further podcast episodes to listen to

Firstly, in episode 30 and 31, ex-Deputy CEO of Tesco, Tim Mason, joined to explore Omnichannel Retail. This conversation includes the discussion about becoming digitally enabled and data driven. Listen in to episode 30: Winning At Omnichannel Retail (part 1) and episode 31: (part 2).

030 - Winning at Omnichannel Retail with Tim Mason - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Next, in episode 111: Defining Your Perfect KPIs, you can discover how to identify the KPIs that really are your key performance indicators.

111: Defining Your Perfect KPIs - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Then in episode 120: Understanding Data and Data Science In Retail, the experienced and insightful Ian Shepherd helped guided us through the opportunities and challenges with data in a retail environment.

120: Understanding Data and Data Science In Retail with Ian Shepherd - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Then in episode 122: Using Data To Improve Staff Scheduling, Rotageek’s David Payne highlighted some of the ways that advanced staff scheduling can be automated and optimised. And in turn, this will help you be more data driven.

122: Using Data To Improve Staff Scheduling with David Payne - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

In episode 123: Build Data Integrity With Effective Data Governance, data governance expert Nicola Askham joined with key takeaways focused on the opportunities and approaches. In fact, this will build data integrity and trust and help you get the right answers from your data.

123: Build Data Integrity With Effective Data Governance with Nicola Askham - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks

Finally, one more recommended listen if you’ve got through all of the above. Also check out episode 119: How To Do Predictive Modelling. This will help you in your journey to becoming more data driven and in particular will help you and your organisation to use data to better predict the future.

119: How To Do Predictive Modelling - The Retail Transformation Show with Oliver Banks


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