Turning Information Into Action Means Making Your Data Work Even Harder

By : Roger Walker

December 15, 2016 06:30 AM

A study earlier this year by leading research firm Forrester revealed that business satisfaction with analytics plummeted 21% between 2014 and 2015, even as investments in big data grew. Further, 74% of the study’s respondents said they want to be “data-driven,” but a mere 29% felt they were doing well at connecting analytics to action. Why, in an era where businesses have access to more information than ever before, are we witnessing such a gap between the data we have available and the means to act upon it in an impactful way?


According to Forbes magazine, part of the problem is that “often what is really being offered by many analytics solutions is just more data or information—not insights. Data, information and insights are not synonyms.” For our retail customers, this is absolutely true, and failing to glean actionable insights from system data can lead to major operational inefficiencies, missed or diminished revenue opportunities, and vulnerabilities in their security posture. Further, with today’s customer demanding consistent, personalized shopping experiences across channels, retailers need to leverage enterprise, store, and customer data to compete in an increasingly crowded landscape.


These critical needs push our team to work continuously in developing and refining the tools retailers need to truly turn insight into actions that drive tangible, positive results for their business. For instance, retailers can access – and immediately act upon – real-time metrics such as sales performance, store operations, and store associate productivity via our Pulse solution. Helping to detect and prevent fraud through our next-generation digital consulting practice is another example of how we maximize existing data and turn it into proactive measures.


The retail landscape is forever shifting, influenced by changes in the market, consumer behaviors, and technology. Our mission is to keep retailers ahead of the curve, not letting “actionable insights” become an empty catchphrase as the author of the Forbes article fears, but making it an indispensable part of their toolbox for continued growth and success.

Roger Walker

Strategic Product Manager, Food, Drug, and Mass Merchandise Industry

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Roger has been providing software technology to grocery and fast-moving consumer-goods retailers for 30 years. He now leads product strategy at NCR for the food, drug, and mass-merchandise industry.