What can data science do for your business?

In this panel with Google and ICC, we look at digital transformation frameworks and consider the impact of data science and analytics.

Wed May 16 11:19:00 EDT 2018
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To put it simply: it can drive a whole new customer experience.

That was the subject of today’s panel with Mark Regan of Google and Jim Kilgore of Information Control Company (ICC), moderated by Roger Plic, EVP and Chief Innovation Officer for Pitney Bowes, which dove into all things data and analytics.

Data science helps businesses to better manage customer information and data analytics within their organization. Pitney Bowes uses data to drive customer engagement and outcomes through our digital transformation framework, based on three key pillars:

  • Design and client experience: Referring to the design system and practices that focused on crafting a compelling user experience.
  • Data: Big data platforms, the Internet of Things and analytics.
  • Cloud-enabled: Everything that Pitney Bowes does, whether it’s physical or digital, through SaaS, APIs and mobile.

How retailers can leverage data science to drive success

As Jim noted, first they need to identify their goal and then work backwards from there into a strategy to accomplish that goal. Think of it as a four-step process:

  • Objective: Start with the business case first, e.g. retaining your best customers or achieving operational efficiency.
  • Discovery: Capture the data, create a single view of the customer and look at the long-term value. Identify the issue with the customers or the opportunity to capture new customers. Pick a feasible initiative you can deliver in three to six months, so you can show results quickly and use them to build credibility and support within your organization.
  • Qualitative: Do research around the journey your customers take from brand discovery to post-purchase.
  • Investment: Allocate sufficient budget in order to test the models and obtain statistically valid conclusions.

Retailers are starting to see that data science and analytics are driving positive business outcomes. Data is unfortunately the biggest hurdle for most of them. As a result, they are putting in renewed efforts to obtain clean data.

Leveraging the physical and digital together

Online, we already have all the data of what customers are doing, what they’re clicking on, how much time they spend on a certain page, etc. But, we can also leverage that data across both physical and digital channels to create not only a more personalized experience for the customer, but a more beneficial one for the retailer as well. For example, depending on the customer’s location or what they buy, it may be more economically advantageous to ship right from the store as opposed to from a distribution center.

Mark pointed out that Google is working with some of these smaller retailers to help them obtain clean, quality data and use it to drive new business success. One application he mentioned was helping to create a recommendation engine, that helps predict what products certain users might like, or leverage sales data and promotions to predict both in-store and online inventory needs.

When 60 percent of the job is just getting the data ready to build a machine-learning model like this, data quality is of the utmost importance. All too often, businesses look at their data through the prism of siloes: finance, sales, operations all have their own view of their own data. When you bring those datasets together, though, you inevitably start to see inconsistencies. Businesses need to be able to get out ahead of this to build valuable data science models out of their analytics. You have to trust the data first before you can enrich it.

In the competitive world of global ecommerce, it’s important to know where the industry is heading and how others retailers are reacting. Take the Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Assessment to see how you stack up with your competitors – the survey offers a side-by-side comparison between your answers and those of your peers.

Then, dive into the results from one of the biggest global ecommerce research reports of its kind. The Pitney Bowes 2017 Global Ecommerce Report surveyed more than 1,200 retailers and 12,000 consumers around the world, outlining both retailer and consumer perspectives on the global ecommerce landscape. Download the report to learn how these trends provide key growth opportunities.