Since the pandemic started, 87 percent of retail organizations in the U.S. have been under pressure to make data-driven decisions faster. New research from analytics database Exasol quantifies how retailers 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 firm’s new study, Retail: Decision making during times of uncertainty, shows that 82 percent of retail organizations in the U.S. are data-driven businesses, yet more than half (61 percent) of organizations say their current data infrastructure does not allow them to innovate at speed.
Highlights and key themes from the research:
The COVID-19 pandemic intensifies retail’s need for speed
The data shows that 87 percent 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 percent 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
Sixty-one percent of U.S. retailers agree that their current data infrastructure does not allow them to innovate at speed. What’s causing these technology roadblocks?
- 35 percent of retailers are not able to tap into new data sources, while 34 percent of respondents cite lack of business unit access to self-service analytics (i.e., data democratization) as a key challenge.
- 39 percent of retail organizations cite deployment challenges, whether in the cloud or on-premises.
- 26 percent feel their analytics team doesn’t understand their requirements.
- 33 percent 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
Eighty-two percent of retailers report their organization is a data-driven business. In addition, 76 percent 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 percent) of U.S. retailers 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.
“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 at Exasol, in the release. “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.”
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.