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What Retailers Should Consider When Adopting Data Sciences

The future of retail will be built on insights derived from proprietary data, in particular, consumer data. Businesses must act now to reap the rewards of the consumer data by moving from simply collecting consumer data to using it to support and systematize better decision-making.

In recent years, there is a rising importance of leveraging data science as a core capability throughout the organization to drive decision-making, yet it has not been widely adopted by the industry. Analytics is becoming ever more sophisticated and its use within organizations is becoming broader which allows retailers to be more versatile. Advanced analytics drives profits because it provides real-time responses to market shifts and can better inform innovation initiatives.

The primary obstacles preventing retailers from speedily developing these capabilities include the expense of developing an insights-driven organization, a lack of data scientists and the right talent to conduct analytics modelling, and infrastructure gaps that prevent action on the insights generated by predictive analytics.

Moreover, consumer relationships have become more difficult than ever to secure and maintain. This makes it imperative for predictive analytics to be applied throughout a retailer’s end-to-end value chain and to keep up the pace with industry demands.

Considerations for Retailers Regarding Data Sciences Adoption:

Data Ownership

As traditional consumer touchpoints are disrupted by disintermediation and new players along the supply chain, ownership of consumer data will be the key to success. Yet, due to the disruption, capturing consumer data will be challenging and access to these data could be highly uneven: some players owning disproportionately large volumes of data; while others holding small fragments. Over the next decade, as it is highly likely that natural monopolies will arise, regulators will have to plan and address the challenges for those impacted, both business and consumers.

Data Security

As growing numbers of touchpoints, channels and players make the consumer relationship more complex, consumer data privacy will be critical to maintaining trust. Given the increasingly important role that digital plays throughout the retail industry, there is already a growing threat relating to cybersecurity (e.g. data law breaches) that could have extremely detrimental short- and long-term impacts for retailer and consumer. Data security will be essential to prevent situations that could compromise consumer relationships. Over the next decade, as different technologies play increasingly prominent roles, investing in data security will be a certain thing.

Data-driven Supply Chains

Real-time data will underpin just-in-time (JIT) models in supply chains, which can potentially lead to major improvement of efficiencies in the availability of materials, delivery schedules, manufacturing capacity and staffing considerations. As fast-changing external factors (e.g. trending fashions) keep shifting consumer preferences, it will be imperative to stay ahead by making smarter decisions. This will require critical data to be shared easily among manufacturing teams, from the factory floor to the executive suite.


Cyclops is a retail analytics system that can help retailers generate insights into how their customers shop inside their stores. To understand more about how Cyclops can help retailers digitally transform their stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our website:


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