87 Percent of US Retailers Race to Achieve Faster Data-Driven Insights to Support Online Sales

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Exasol, the high-performance analytics database, published new research that reveals since the pandemic started, 87% of retail organizations in the U.S. have been under pressure to make data-driven decisions faster. The finding comes from an in-depth research report, “Retail: Decision making during times of uncertainty,” that quantifies how retail organizations in the U.S. are heightening data-driven decision-making cycles to meet real-time demand and prepare for surging online sales brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research shows that 82% of retail organizations in the U.S. are data-driven businesses, yet more than half (61%) of organizations say their current data infrastructure does not allow them to innovate at speed.

Exasol’s report is based on a global survey of 107 U.S. retail decision-makers (from a global total of 2,501) and reveals ample pessimism among data and IT professionals regarding the extent to which current infrastructure set-ups can power a crisis recovery.

Highlights and key themes from the research:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic intensifies retail’s need for speed – The data shows that 87% of retail organizations in the U.S. say they have been under pressure since the start of the pandemic to make decisions faster than ever before.In addition, 79% of retailers agree that shorter decision-making cycles will become the new normal for businesses.
  • Retail organizations face technology roadblocks to faster data analytics insights – 61% of retail organizations in the U.S. agree that their current data infrastructure does not allow them to innovate at speed. What’s causing these technology roadblocks?
    • 35% of retailers are not able to tap into new data sources, while 34% of respondents cite lack of business unit access to self-service analytics (i.e., data democratization) as a key challenge.
    • 39% of retail organizations cite deployment challenges, whether in the cloud or on-premises.
    • 26% feel their analytics team doesn’t understand their requirements.
    • 33% of retail organizations in the U.S. agree that query times are too long, and overall analytics performance is too slow.
  • Despite technology roadblocks, data decision-making within retail organizations is thriving – 82% of retail organizations in the U.S. report their organization is a data-driven business. In addition, 76% of retail organizations in the U.S. say that they have coped well with the additional pressure brought by shorter decision-making cycles.
  • Better data infrastructure is key to winning the race to faster data analytics insights – More than half(52%)of retail organizations in the U.S. believe they will need to make some improvements to their data infrastructure to be able to successfully recover from macro- or micro-economic challenges triggered by the pandemic.

Nuqleous, a leading developer of intelligent technology solutions serving top retail brands, concurs with these research findings based on its recent work with top retailers and consumer product companies.

“To succeed in retail today you have to have your pulse on local consumer preferences and demand curve changes, be able to respond to shifts in distribution channels, optimize your supply chain, and collaborate with your partners,” said Paul Sims, co-founder and CEO, Nuqleous. “This requires teams throughout the organization to understand what’s happening at the most granular level in order to stay on top of the fast-moving changes in the industry. To do this you must have an analytics database that allows these teams to analyze data in real time. Exasol provides the performance required to enable your people to unlock the value of your retail data.”

Through its strategic partnership with Exasol, Nuqleous customers have access to best-of-breed data analytics technology through their Spotlight Retail Analytics platform, including an in-memory data analytics database that enables them to complete tasks such as pulling store data and reports in seconds instead of hours. Together, Exasol and Nuqleous deliver greater visibility into components that impact business and overall retail sales, including weather, demographics and economic trends.

“The pandemic has shown that retailers that adapt and scale their business based on real-time data insights will continue to thrive,” said Rishi Diwan, chief product officer (CPO) at Exasol. “As these organizations gear up for the surge in online sales and an unpredictable holiday season they will be counting on retail intelligence from Nuqleous powered by Exasol’s high-performance analytics database to deliver success in 2021 and beyond.”

To download a complimentary copy of the report, “Retail: Decision making during times of uncertainty,” visit: https://www.exasol.com/resource/whitepaper-act-fast-why-rapid-data-insights-are-key-to-retail-success/. Learn more about how Exasol helps retail organizations improve their decision-making processes to meet today’s unpredictable and fast-paced environment.

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