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9 CIO Tech Priorities from the Big Show

Did you happen to attend the 2015 National Retail Federation “Big Show” in New York City? It’s okay if you didn’t. Doug Henschen went there for you. Although the show was for retailers, he picked up nine great tips for the forward-facing company and for IT.

Get in Line with the Nine

  1. Personal Data Risks
  2. Anonymous Customer Information
  3. Put it through a POC
  4. Use the Innovation Matrix
  5. Beyond Data Channels
  6. In-Store Customer Intimacy
  7. Gargantuan Real-Time Data
  8. Don’t Get Bogged Down with BI
  9. No Two Customers are Alike

When you’re dealing with customers, it’s crucial to protect their personal information. This is about trust, and the more information a company possesses, the harder it is to protect. Also, you don’t want to get creepy about keeping all that private data. But anonymous data, well, that’s a different story. In the name of improving services, something as simple as an iBeacon or an RFID tag can be used to sense smartphones. One can then map the customer hot spots and analyze purchase decisions. Neato!

Innovation is a tough nut to crack, says Avenue stores CIO Jim Giantomeninco. You’ve got to run everything through a POC (proof-of-concept). If it doesn’t make business sense, just walk away. Nor can one spare several weeks each year just to focus on a POC. There needs to be a faster way to determine if an innovation is viable.

If your innovation does happen to fly, be careful how it is implemented. Users need to count on comfort and privacy – virtual clothing kiosks in the back of the store please!  And self-awareness is one thing, but try analyzing 170 petabytes of information from 700 million listings and 15 years of historical data. That’s the challenge Ebay’s data director Gayatri Patel is up against. The key, says Gayatri, is to focus on sorting the information instantly to get customer input in real time.

Yet it’s all too easy to get bogged down with business information. Ask only the important questions to save your company oodles of time. And of course, no two customers are alike, so don’t treat them that way! Let smart data drive marketing by discovering customers’ shopping habits.

Read the full slide show at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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