Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 33
The systems do double duty. Cameras act to
deter theft and-as a result of their superior picture quality compared to analog counterparts
-aid in post-incident investigations, including
"There are certain features built into our cameras and into our analytics that track all this
for you and digitize it so it doesn't take you so
much time to go through all the data," Cory said,
adding: "Store managers use this intelligence to
improve decision-making, cut costs and identify
new business opportunities."
Examples include heat mapping to improve
store layouts, and monitoring customer flow to
optimize staffing levels during peak traffic times.
Big data's heavy load
This data becomes additional grist for the retailer's mill, a subject tackled during a roundtable discussion at the Loss Prevention Conference on big data. For some retailers, it was
conceded, the amount and complexity of available data is intimidating.
"We're getting feedback on what challenges
they're experiencing and we're redeveloping
and retooling our application to be able to meet
those needs," said Cory Adams, Vice President
of Global Client Services with solutions provider Sysrepublic.
He quoted a client to illustrate the point: "When
you're faced with everything, you look at nothing."
Said Dr. David Speights, Chief Data Scientist
with The Retail Equation: "If the market is not
ready for something that's too advanced, they
don't use it. An exception might be in the automated tools. The things that we do to authorize
returns are invisible to the end user. We can add
as much technology in there as we want."
Familiarity is a factor, according to Dr. Read
Hayes, Director of the Loss Prevention Research
Council. "Retailers now have been using analytics for a lot of the sales data, where they locate
new stores and things like that, so it's more pervasive, more accepted."
As for the future of big data in the retailer realm:
look for smarter, better integrated analytics.
"I still talk to people who are going to seven or
eight different sources to pull together one report,"
noted Adams. "That's our big push-to try and integrate all the data from all these different locations to put it in one platform just to make people's
lives a bit easier, and not have to spend hours pulling together reports from multiple areas."
THE LOSS PREVENTION ISSUE | CANADIAN RETAILER