Today's retailers are reaching for top-line growth and increasing market share through collecting, assessing, prioritizing and executing Big Data analytics, with the latest challenge: Dynamic Pricing in real time. According to a RIS March 2014 Report, "Supercharging Predictive Analytics with Big Data," 28% of retailers feel pressure to evolve from current, historical data-reporting tools to those that are capable of multi-variant modeling and testing of what-if scenarios."
Here's how retailers can meet the existential challenges of working with Predictive Analytics:
* Create clearly defined strategy.
* Define short-term goals that can produce quick wins.
* Define long-term goals that will be transformative to the enterprise.
* Identify tools, skill sets, and resources that will be used to build a fully functioning analytics team.
Here's what retailers need in their analytics toolbox:
* High-speed, advanced analytic tools to leverage performance.
* Ability to convert large volumes of data into actionable insight.
* Ability to monitor progress.
* Ability to predict/recalibrate outcomes. ("What if" scenarios).
* Be able to act and react on a fast-moving, agile basis.
* Ability to create market-aware rules, such as changing product price in real-time, to respond to a combination of competitor actions.
Here's what retailers want in their ideal platform/tool:
* Easy to use interface. 95% of Retailers say that an easy-to-use interface is the most important feature of their analytics tool. (EKN Benchmark Study, The future of retail analytics --SAS).
* Streamlined operational effectiveness and efficiency (access to data).
* Fast, scalable, and intuitive predictive insights.
* User-friendly and graphically effective.
Secret: The "2% Solution"
Finally, the secret to tapping into the full value of Big Data is to "Recognize that 'the right data' always trumps 'big data.'" According to analyst, Phani Nagarjuna of Nuevora, "About 2% of all big data streams, not 100%, are actually relevant to solving a given business problem. The answer is tools that enable organizations to quickly identify this 2% of data and apply that to solving a given problem; then, move on to the next 2% for the next problem."
Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line
Today's market demands that retailers use analytics early and wisely to discover the actionable insights that will optimize functions, drive sales, and increase profits. Retailers need to actively utilize these latest tools, not just to stand their ground, but to get ahead of their ever-growing, ever-smarter, ever-more-developed, ever-more-competitive competition.
News Flash from the Editor: Upstream Commerce just unveiled a new tool in its product lineup: Dynamic Pricer™, an automated, rules-based solution that allows retailers to optimize volume and margins by easily defining a set of rules to act on company business data, competitive data, inventory, and pricing strategy, in order to predict, test, set, and change prices -- in real time. Dynamic Pricer allows "What If" business scenario management, up-to-the-moment input from the retailer, and much more. For more details, go to: Upstream Commerce Products: Dynamic-Pricer.