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80% of Retailers Lag Behind Amazon in Strategic Use of Analytics, According to New Report From EKN Research

RANDOLPH, NJ -- (Marketwired) -- 07/07/14 -- The retail industry is rich in data, yet retailers struggle to derive significant value from their analytics investments, according to a new research report from EKN Research. Results show that while 4 in 5 retailers use enterprise-grade analytics, they cite analytics interpretation as their biggest challenge. EKN's 3rd Annual Analytics in Retail benchmark, sponsored by Manthan and SAS, surveyed more than 200 retailers, of which 59 percent were above $100 million USD in revenue.

Results from EKN's new benchmark report reveal significant disparities between retailers' analytics aspirations and their current ability to execute. Highlights of the report include the following:

  • Retailers lag far behind Amazon in analytics maturity. 80% of retailers say they are behind Amazon in analytics maturity, and 71% of retailers perform either basic analytics reporting or none at all -- revealing retailers' surprising inability to take advantage of the data that is available to them.

  • Retailers lack structure and ownership for analytics reporting: According to EKN's data, 51 percent of surveyed retailers don't have a formal analytics team, which creates data silos and inconsistency in reporting. Moreover, 42 percent have no single owner that is responsible for creating an analytics strategy and roadmap -- further hindering retailers' abilities in analytics.

  • Retailers are focused on hindsight reporting. 70 percent of retailers are stuck in a hindsight-oriented reporting cycle; however, as the report indicates, a shift towards data/insight-driven decisions can have dramatic impact on efficiency and performance. The transition from hindsight- to foresight-oriented analytics reporting gives retailers a big opportunity to close the value realization gap.

  • Retail spending on analytics is increasing. The retail industry's average spending on analytics as a percentage of the total IT budget is set to increase from 14% (2013) to 23% (2017). With increased spending, retailers can begin to bring on skilled resources and systems that can help translate analytics data into strategic competitive differentiation.

"Retailers view analytics as extremely strategic, yet they currently struggle to derive commensurate value from their analytics investments," said Gaurav Pant, SVP Research and Principal Analyst, EKN. "However, there are significant opportunities for retailers that can harness the power of analytics. Retailers that can overlay their analytics capabilities with a strategy and organizational capability tightly linked with their business model will gain competitive advantage."

EKN's in-depth benchmark report includes detailed analysis and best-practice recommendations for selecting the optimum analytics toolsets, bridging the skills and capabilities gaps in analytics reporting, and integrating analytics as a key part of every retailer's DNA. The report also provides detailed insights into Amazon's analytics capabilities and highlights selected retail organizations that are outperforming their peers in analytics.

To learn more about how to participate in future EKN surveys or gain access to the EKN portal, please contact Dave Weinand at [email protected].

About EKN
EKN (www.eknresearch.com) is a research and content service that was built based on feedback and advice from retail executives. Part of the Edgell Communications family, EKN is a subscription-based portal that provides retailers with access to the site's powerful decision-support and data analysis tools, allowing them to leverage EKN's industry-leading database of original research, user-generated vendor indexes and market trends. EKN also lets members share insights and real-world experiences through ongoing peer forums, both virtual and in person.

Media Contacts:
Jeff Ketner or Catherine Seeds
Ketner Group Inc. (for EKN)
Email Contact
Email Contact

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