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An Insight on Handling & Management of Data in Retail

For retailers, data is everything today. From customer analytics and inventory management to providing personalized offers and attaining customer loyalty, it serves all purposes. The primary aim of retailers is to attain higher revenue and provide the best possible experience to the customers. Today, data is leveraged for maximum outcome by many retailers. For this to happen data must be accurate and managed properly. However, the levels of data accuracy among retailers across various countries is not up to the mark and leave a lot to be desired.

data management

As per (EDQ) Experian Data Quality’s Annual Global Data Management Benchmark Report:

  • 27% of businesses believe that their data is inaccurate
  • Globally, around 82% of organizations have a huge scope for improvement in their data management practices as they are below the optimum level.

The Prevalence of distrust on data among retailers

Globally, most retailers have still not found the ideal way to manage their data. As a major contingent still feel that the data they deal with is not the most accurate, there is a certain prevalence of distrust that creeps in among the retailers. Because of this distrust, retailers are unable to leverage data for making informed decision-making. This kind of cripples them. Inaccurate data management means that the data driven insights in the form of customer analytics too are not the most authentic.

Retailers also believe that inaccurate data makes it very difficult for them to attain or maintain customer loyalty. This is because customer trust is impacted and the brand perception also changes. Apart from that, 69% of retailers also feel that it becomes very difficult for them to provide a good shopping experience to the customers. This is because instead of making decisions based on data driven insights, they are making decisions randomly via experience, gut feeling, etc. Thus, the distrust on data by retailers creates quite a hindrance for them.

The Need to improve the Data Management Practices

As mentioned earlier, there is a massive scope for improvement on data management practices in organizations around the world. Businesses lack data-specific roles and most of the data management strategies are compiled by IT organizations. Organizations now want to handle their data independently and devise their own data management strategies. As per the study by EDQ,

  • As many as 62% organizations say that the IT department has a massive influence on how data is handled eventually.
  • 70% of organizations across the globe believe that the business should be in complete charge of the ongoing data quality. The IT department should be consulted if/when required.
  • 93% of retailers have a data management project planned in the next 1 year centered on data integration and cleansing.

Retailers want to take control over their data and leverage it for various processes like customer analytics, and others. The central ownership of data is very important. Most businesses have various departments that adopt their own strategy, leading to a high degree of inconsistency. Data managed by IT departments is not always going to be the most effective as they won’t always be in sync with the context under which a set of data has been acquired. It is very important that retailers hire experts in data handling and management. A central data owner will add value to the data through various data initiatives. Time and again, he will monitor the data – check for inaccuracies – and resolve them. This will ensure that the data available is trusted, accurate, of high quality and provides the most valuable and actionable insights.

Thus, it is very important for retailers and businesses to improve their data management practices.

About Shakuntala Sarkar

Shakuntala is a marketer with 15 years of experience in Marketing Strategies & Operations, Brand Communications, Customer Relationship Management and Corporate Communications. An economics graduate from St Xavier’s college, Kolkata and a IIMC she, has worked across different industries like IT & Retail, with consumer marketing in both B2B and B2C segments. Before joining Tickto, she was the Head of Customer Relationship Management at Spencer’s Retail. Prior to that, she has been a part of the Global Marketing & Communications team of Satyam Computer Services.

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