Economist Intelligence Unit survey -- More retailers using analytics, but barriers to effective use remain

NEW YORK & BANGALORE, India --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- January 21, 2014-- A new survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit finds that nearly all respondents' businesses have seen a positive economic return from investment in data analysis for the strategy area. Also, the single biggest barrier to retailers making effective use of data is figuring out what is useful amidst the overload--a problem cited by half of the respondents. These are among some of the major findings of The Data Storm: Retail and the Big Data Revolution, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT), a leading global Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing company.

The report, based on a survey of C suite executives from the retail sector in North America and Europe, examines how retailers are reacting to, and how leaders are benefiting from, increasing volumes of data. It examines the role of data in customer experience, the benefits it is delivering in omni-channel commerce and corporate strategy and the regulatory challenges facing retailers, as they accrue greater and greater quantities of information.

Seventy-eight percent of all respondents' businesses have seen a positive economic return from investment in data analysis for the strategy area. However, only 46 percent are confident that their firm's analytical abilities are keeping up with data volumes. Tied for the second-biggest barrier to using large volumes of data is concern over whether doing so would really help improve decisions (32 percent). Nevertheless, respondents all say their firms are prioritizing data collection, but still only 36 percent of respondents believe that they have a well-defined policy for analysing the most valuable information.

"This research shows that while retailers realize the value of maximizing their use of big data and analytics, many are still unable to utilize the data they are collecting in full," said Srini Pallia, Senior Vice President and Global Head, RCTG (Retail, Consumer Goods, Transportation and Government) Business Unit, Wipro. "To get the full value from the data they are collecting, retailers need to explore new avenues to apply data analytics throughout the organization that will improve decision making, efficiency and interaction with customers."

Key findings of the report include:

   -- Marketing is still the main focus: Marketing is the most common priority 
      for data analysis spending by retailers in recent years: 46 percent of 
      respondents put this spend amongst their top three areas of focus. 
      Marketing also remains one of the core areas of big data spend in the 
      future, cited by 40 percent. 
   -- Using data to improve strategy is increasingly important: For the past 
      two years, data analysis has been used more often in marketing than in 
      strategy, which is on par with store operations. But in the next two 
      years, strategy is set to take the lead, with 62 percent expecting to see 
      relevant investment in data analysis to support strategy. Some 78 percent 
      of all respondents' businesses have seen a positive economic return from 
      investment in data analysis for the strategy area, the highest figure for 
      any function or process. 
   -- Data analysis is helping drive brand loyalty, but respondents think it 
      can do more: Sixty-four percent of respondents report increased brand 
      loyalty as a general gain from data analysis and 52 percent say big data 
      has enabled them to expand their sales by offering the next logical item. 
      Yet respondents remain uncertain that they are reaping the full benefit 
      of their data. Only 30 percent are confident that big data is delivering 
      the sales increases that they had hoped, and most respondents (52 
      percent) simply are not sure. 
   -- Many retailers are still at the early stages of using big data: Only 46 
      percent of retail CXOs are confident that their firm's analytical 
      abilities are keeping up with data volumes. Meanwhile just 36 percent 
      believe that they have a well-defined policy for analysing the most 
      valuable information and 30 percent admit that they are not consistently 
      obtaining value from it. 
   -- Data delivers in coordinating omni-channel commerce: Over half of 
      respondents say that big data has brought gains in multi-channel sales 
      (54 percent) and has made multi-channel customer tracking and management 
      more profitable (52 percent). But 38 percent agree that managing 
      differing pricing and margin strategies over varying channels is a major 
   -- Legal restrictions on data usage are a major concern: Two-thirds of 
      retail CXOs say that they have increased the amount of stored information 
      on individual customers in the past year; 64 percent of them cite legal 
      problems with data collection as a major barrier in its effective use. 
      Data protection laws are tied for the second-biggest impediment to making 
      effective use of large amounts of data in strategic planning and decision 
      making in general, cited by 32 percent. 

The Data Storm: Retail and the Big Data Revolution is available free of charge at:

About Wipro Ltd.

Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT) is a leading Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing company that delivers solutions to enable its clients to do business better. Wipro delivers winning business outcomes through its deep industry experience and a 360 degree view of "Business through Technology" - helping clients create successful and adaptive businesses. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, a practitioner's approach to delivering innovation, and an organization wide commitment to sustainability, Wipro has a workforce of 140,000 serving clients across 61 countries. For more information, please visit

About the Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at or follow us on

The EIU is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in more than 40 cities and a network of some 650 country experts and analysts worldwide. It operates independently as the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.

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SOURCE: Wipro Ltd.

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