Data is like lettuce.

Businesses, particularly in retail and digital advertising, view data as an asset. They set cookies and pixels to collect and track millions of people in their journey around the web in hopes of selling something.

But most of this data is just like lettuce, it wilts quickly, often before you can capture any value.

What’s more, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect in the European Union (EU), much of the data is tainted and carries a huge risk if used. Given the uncertainty, companies have taken many different approaches from creating highly compliant data management systems to exiting the market entirely.

There are at least 3 strategies to maximizing your data value.

1) Harvest only what you can use. Hopefully you have Point of Sale (POS) transaction system connected to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. And hopefully you have only one connected system, not two; aka, one for the doors and one for online.

Undertaking a Business Architecture approach will help you map the connections, duplication, and where to add value. Also, be precise on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that will yield actionable insights.

2) Collect it all. Create a data lake with a graph database. Hire a bunch of data scientists to dive into this lake to look for trends and patterns by SKU, ZAGI (Zip, Age, Gender, Income), loyalty/visits frequency, and other factors like weather, season, competition, and market basket. The example of Target stores finding a pregnant teenager is seminal.

3) Trigger events. Get organizational buy-in for action/reaction according to certain data and trends. For example, it’s well known that the weather affects store traffic and shifts channel choices. First and last paychecks of the month affect market basket size. Are communications programs (like e-mail and loyalty) connected to trade area customers: thunderstorms forecasted for tomorrow so order online and we’ll bring it out to your car it you visit when it is raining.

Don’t let data wilt. Set up a few strategies for managing it and how to action on it.

Thematix provides comprehensive Business Architecture services plus expert understanding of OMG ARTS point of sale and retail technology standards to ensure your business strategy is connected to your daily operations.

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Business Architecture for Retail Transformation

More than a cash register.

Transforming Retail using KPIs to connect strategy to business and technical requirements.

Connecting retail strategy to front line operations

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Larry W. Smith

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