Study: Retailers lag in leveraging data

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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data analysis concept

Retailers are less likely than companies in many other sectors to prioritize the use of enterprise data.

According to “What is Your Data Really Worth?,” a new global study of 1,350 business and IT decision-makers from data analysis platform Splunk, organizations that place a strong strategic emphasis on data and its business value add an average of 5.32% to their annual revenue. These companies also remove an average of 4.85% from their annual operational costs, and 97% meet or exceed their customer retention targets, with the majority (60%) having outstripped their goals. Ninety-three percent feel they tend to make better, faster decisions than competitors.

Despite these benefits, only 35% of retail organizations surveyed are “data-obsessed,” and 38% spend less than 10% of their IT budget on data and analytics. In comparison, 51% of all respondents are data-obsessed and only 20% spend less than 10% of their IT budget on data and analytics.

However, most surveyed retailers recognize the link between data use and the potential to improve business outcomes. About eight in 10 (79%) agree they will be disrupted if they cannot improve their ability to use data to better customize products and offers to customers.

The survey also reveals that roughly half or less of surveyed retailers have been able to achieve a number of significant benefits due to improved ability to use their data. These include:

•    Ensuring customers’ data security and privacy (53%)
•    Better and more proactive protection from cyberthreats (47%)
•    Better management of supply chain/optimized supply chain (43%)
•    Better management of inventory/optimized stock levels (43%)
•    Ability to better personalize offers, products and customer service (38%)
•    Improved order fulfillment and delivery (36%)
•    Implementation of a more effective loyalty program (34%)
•    Offering better, consistent customer experience across channels (32%)

Splunk and Enterprise Strategy Group surveyed executives in the retail, technology, finance, communications & media, manufacturing & resources, healthcare & life sciences, public sector, and higher education industries in the U.S., Australia, U.K., Germany, France, China, and Japan.