Wednesday, June 22
Opening Keynote: Accelerating Growth, Talent, and Innovation
Analytics Unite kicked off the day with an interactive opening keynote from Nicole Nelson, who worked most recently as Best Buy’s SVP of data and analytics. Nelson’s keynote, “Accelerating Growth, Talent, and Innovation,” explored the 2022 theme of the event. She polled the audience in the Analytics Unite mobile app throughout the session, while addressing analytic talent attraction and nurturing, technology and product innovation, as well as how to turn growth into a data-driven competitive advantage.
She opened by asking “how many of you woke up this morning thinking about what differentiates your company?” She spoke of how to use physical assets to redefine the business and use data to define customer needs in a new way. She noted that at Best Buy they spent an hour each week to discuss projects with different teams.
“What we found in that hour talking about projects was that every time we talked, someone in the room said, ‘Wait a minute, you’re doing that? That’s going to impact us over here in our team’ or ‘Are you struggling with that. I think I have data on that you need.’”
Nelson reviewed the three areas that come to mind when she thinks about how to accelerate talent: incubate, attract, retain. She also revealed an inside tip on the one thing she did that kept people on her teams.
When someone joined the organization, she spent 30 minutes with each person and did the following:
- Got to know them personally
- Asked them what they loved to do
- Told them to reach out however they were comfortable if they saw something
Is Your Analytics Team Prepared to Accelerate?
There’s a lot of things that encompass loyalty, but it all comes down to a value exchange, said Deb Hannah, SVP of marketing at Shoe Carnival, during the loyalty-focused session at Analytics Unite, which was moderated by Cameron Davies, chief data officer at Yum! Brands.
That value exchange, however, can get a little complicated. Panelist Darrin Samaha, vice president of marketing at Yesway, said it’s about delivering value that is unique to the brand, which serves as fuel.
“Customers are looking for more experiential rewards,” he said. David Dittman, VP of data analytics and chief analytics officer at Procter & Gamble, agrees that if the brand can offer this, the data will roll in.
Recruit, Retain, Renew: Building a Connected Workforce
Possibilities, superpower, focus-creation.
These are the words given when Nandha Kumar, CIO Americas, Danone, asked a panel of experts “what’s one word that comes to mind when you hear analytics and talent.”
Seemantini Godbole, EVP, chief information officer, Lowe's; Mohit Das, former vice president, commercial analytics, Kellogg; and Jo O'Hazo, chief data and and analytics officer, Giant Eagle, joined Kumar on stage at Analytics Unite during a panel that explored the next-gen analytic skills companies require from their tech teams, and how to recruit and cultivate these unique skills.
Thursday, June 23
Breakfast Panel: Analytic Maturity Deep Dive
Despite the undeniable power of a robust analytic foundation, many companies struggle to consistently generate value and tangible ROI from their analytics spend. James Cummings, VP, global head of analytics and human intelligence, Mars Wrigley, examined how a consumer goods and retail organization can build the capability to turn data into value at scale in his “Growing Analytics from a Cost Center to a Profit Center” presentation.
Cummings pointed to four key factors critical to enabling analytic value creation: process, context, complexity, and technology acceptance. To ensure each of the four pieces of the value puzzle are actionable and executable requires decision consistency. “Everyone must use the same data at the same time,” he said. “Bring multiple members of your team together to lower the possibility of bias.”
On the subject of team building, Cummings had this advice for his fellow analytic leaders in the room: Make sure you have leadership support, make sure you have the right resources with clear accountabilities, and make sure you have the right team composition with the right mindset and experiences.
While not every dollar spent on analytic pursuits will have a massive ROI, CGs and retailers can ensure that the majority of their efforts produce profits by following Cummings’ three keys to profitable analytic success.
- Change the value story
- Identify human barriers
- Lead from the front
Setting the Pace for Change With a Consumer-Centric Approach to Data
During the closing keynote presentation, “Setting the Pace for Change with a Consumer-Centric Approach to Data,” the panel, moderated by Kalindi Mehta, VP, consumer foresight and predictive analytics, The Estee Lauder Companies, discussed digital transformation journeys and how to pinpoint winning strategies and technologies.
“Through digital and through new data sets that have become available in last three to five years, we now have the ability to say it doesn’t matter to us necessarily where [consumers] buy, as long as they buy our products,” said Josh Blacksmith, senior director, global consumer relationships and engagement, Kimberly-Clark. “That’s the mindset we have to have in terms of being customer centric.”
Jamie Lancaster, vice president, The Kroger Co., said “I don’t care what product you buy, as long as you buy it from us.” Yet Lancaster noted that there’s competition even within the store, as they sell corporate brands and private labels.