Earlier the relevant part of data used to be volume, velocity and variety. By and large, the retailers use to put focus on the volume of data and the speed. However, with changing time the focus has been shifted on ‘Varsity’ of data. Retailers need to keep in mind that all data is not good data. The value of data makes sense when it is able to help you in making more informed decisions so the business gets benefitted ultimately. By the virtue of that the concept of ‘Open data’ and ‘Data activism’ came into existence.
How Open Data is helping..
The notion of open data is usually associated with free data something which is available in public domain. Speaking on same, Laura Anne Edwards, founder, Data Oasis said, “I think the time has arrived to think what open data means. When I say ‘open’ it does not necessarily means free. What I mean by this, data should be accessible, discoverable and useful once you find it.”
Moreover, the Indian government is also making a lot of efforts to bring-in data is open space via initiatives such as digital India and other elements. Such endeavors from the government side have given an opportunity to many businesses to create value and improve their services.
Going further she added, “I think data as a large eco system that flows in different sectors. What we called big data is unstructured mass. There is a vast difference between businesses which are designed to collect data and business which are built on data.”
Big Data changing the game..
If we look at entire retail chain right from the manufacture to consumer, the consumer is the part who is anonymous and salient most of the time, so the question arises how you run a business to serve your consumers without enough information. This is the area where traditional retail and to extent modern retail is struggling. Speaking on same, Subhashis Nath, Data Analytics Lead, Infosys said,” So, what we find today in the age of big data and dynamic analytics is the ability to finally be able to read this end of value chain.”
Earlier brands use to seek help from market research reports released by data syndicate agencies such as Nielsen. However, with growing share of big data things have changed drastically. “What we used to do is market research, all the strategies used to be driven by market research only. That is the way it always been. Today big data is allowing you actually record what people are doing and saying on social networks and use that batch in either in tactical decisions or strategic decisions,” informed Nath.
What big data consumers programs are doing today is, they are allowing you not to do sampling. They are actually capable of learning the behavior of very large set of consumers and then they are converting into insights. And they provide these insights to consumer goods companies such as Nestle, P&G and various other retail players and using that people are able to make better decisions.
“When Walmart finds Strawberry tarts to be equally important in bad weather and in yet another instance a US based CPG firm found ice cream to be a big demand during a raining weather. Such insights lead to better optimsation of the assortment which in turn help the retailer as well as the consumer,” informed Nath.
Hence, it becomes quite imperative to distinguish between good data and bad data. Speaking on same, Sanjay Sethi, CEO & Co-Founder, Shopclues.com said, “You have to use data with full wisdom otherwise things can go against you. We have to be very conscious because it’s a very powerful tool.”
Clearly, with latest advancement in data technology a lot has been possible now which was impossible earlier. However, there is a fine line between good and bad retailers needs to learn that.