A Look Back at RCAS 2017

Thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, analytic leaders from across the industry, and the staffs of RIS News & Consumer Goods Technology, for making RCAS 2017 a huge success.

If you were unable to attend, this will be one event you won't want to miss moving forward. Please find below elements of my opening statements for the event, and feel free to reach out now if you're interested in speaking or sponsoring at next year's event.

I believe “Analytics” is one of the key transformative drivers in the growth and development of an increasingly complex omnichannel environment for both retailers and consumer goods companies.

I would be preaching to the choir if I focused my opening on convincing you about the importance of data-driven decisions. I think the lineup of speakers and interaction with sponsors will do more justice to that cause then I ever could. Instead, I think it’s helpful to think through where you can gain value from this summit.

I decided to chair this event for three primary reasons:

1. Analytics is now a critical “currency” between retailers and consumer goods companies. It can drive our supply chains, commercial execution, new product launches, media efforts, and more of our collective businesses, end to end. Collaboration and creating a win-win will drive our respective businesses and the industry forward. I’m interested in seeing leaders in this room drive the industry with this insight.

2. Networking and peer-based learning is key when you barely have time to think back in the office. Although it's only a couple of days, we hope this event opens your eyes to new opportunities in your business, some players who might be able to help you on the journey, and some friends to talk with along the way.

I personally have a unique new advantage: I can talk to everyone in the room. Just eight months ago, I was limited by logistics, non-compete, and even anti-trust constraints … no more. I believe developing this network will be a win-win competitive advantage for all involved.

3. This journey is still in its infancy. The narrative and the community are dynamic, and at the root they will continue to be based on strong fundamentals: analytic methodology, communication internally and externally (it’s not enough to do great analytics, business leaders have to change how they operate), and business understanding. We’ll continue to see new technology evolution, disruptive players, and the ingenuity of practitioners. We get to continue to shape and drive this space.

We hope to foster all three of these areas throughout this year’s summit and in the future. As we go through the event, engage in Q&A, embrace new thinking — perhaps even heckle an old colleague or two. We look forward to making this the beginning of a new journey with this extended team.