[Column] Kree Govender: The De-silofication of Data in Retail
Across the retail sector, there are three fundamental shifts that need to occur in the digital transformation journey. The first is the rise of the empowered consumer. The second is the omni-channel development of the agile supply chain. The third is the changing role of the store, which must focus more on engagement and creating an experience for customers. To achieve this, the de-silofication of data is essential, ensuring the retail operation is faster, smarter, and more customer centric.
These fundamental shifts have had a marked impact on both the global and local retail sectors. This is underpinned by digitally empowered consumers who have changed the face of retail forever. The agile supply chain means that major “perks” like immediate shipping and free returns are now the new normal for customers. These shifts also mean that retail stores are no longer a place just to buy products. Despite being primary sales channel, stores are transforming into customer engagement centers and critical supply chain hubs.
To keep pace with these shifts, retail must do business in a new way. “In today’s data-driven economy, analytics have become essential to competitive edge. However, one thing is stopping many retail organisations from taking full advantage: silos. We must connect fragmented data, people, and ideas to succeed in the global digital ecosystem,” states Kree Govender, Managing Director at SA Qlik.
With de-siloed data, businesses gain access to powerful, trustworthy insights, empowering them to make business decisions that make a difference. According to Paul Winsor, Director: Retail Market Development, Qlik EMEA Region, new store technology breeds new insight. “Retailers thriving in this complex new world are responding with agility to these three major shifts in the retail landscape,” states Winsor. “To succeed, retail organisations must realise that analytics must be an integral part of the decision-making process. Using visual analytics in retail holds four key benefits: increased revenue; reduced costs; improved governance; and improved operational excellence.”
A key consideration in this de-silofication process is moving from "all data," to "combinations of data," to "data insights". To achieve this, data literacy and augmented intelligence play a fundamental role in creating a data-driven culture. “To develop the data-driven cultural organisation, information must be tailored to the business process. Role specific apps are required to ensure different employees, managing different processes are sufficiently supported. To succeed, this shift requires that complexity is reduced as user population increases,” concludes Govender.