Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 28

> TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION

Winning with

DATA

EnsembleIQ's hunt for a new CEO led it to an executive with deep experience in data and analytics, which
makes sense given how both areas dominate the retail world. David Shanker joined EiQ, parent company
of Retail Leader, as CEO in February and brought to the role a diverse background in data, research,
marketing and innovation. Shanker previously served as CEO of the Americas at Lightspeed, the digital
data collection arm of Kantar and also co-founded and served as CEO of digital startup PinchMe. Earlier
in his career, he held key roles at online research pioneer OTX Research and spent nearly a decade at IRI.
Shanker spoke with Retail Leader about technology-driven disruption, shiny pennies, failure and his vision
for establishing EiQ as the industry's leading provider of business intelligence and growth enablement
solutions. >By Mike Troy
Retail Leader: As a veteran of the retail and CPG
space, what excites you today about the state of the
industry and where we are heading?
David Shanker: There are several macro trends that make
this a very interesting time. There is an explosion of big data
that can be leveraged in a lot of different ways. And from some
of my prior experience, leveraging behavioral and attitudinal
data together offers really great insights and that is what we
are doing at EnsembleIQ. Technology is playing a huge role in
everything and with machine learning we are seeing progress
made in how we do business with one another and how
we think about going to market as brands and understand
consumers at a deeper level. The convergence of e-commerce
and brick and mortar is also very interesting. It is clear
that pure play ecommerce without some brick and mortar
footprint may not be the best possible choice. Amazon has
certainly voted in that direction with the acquisition of Whole
Foods. At the heart of those macro trends is technology, which
is changing everything we do. Great companies need to adjust
and adapt and leverage technology to change and disrupt the
industry.
RL: What about concerns? There are a lot changes
happening in terms of shifting consumer behaviors
around where and how shoppers make purchases, how
they interact with brands and how traditional trading
partners interact with one another.

DS: One of my concerns is the shiny new penny concept.
Everyone races to the new penny and tries to do things before
they really understand and think about and discuss all of the
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Retail Leader.com MAY/JUNE 2018

implications. Before we put a lot of energy and effort and
money behind new initiatives we need to understand the
implications. I have seen many companies run very hard at
that shiny new penny and sometimes they are running in the
wrong direction.
RL: Doesn't that create a conundrum for the industry
and business leaders who need to move fast to
capitalize on opportunities?

DS: It does. Every company wants to act with speed and lack
of speed can kill but at the same time too much speed can
kill. What's important is to modulate the speed and make
sure to understand the implications of something new and
the changes that are going on and then being thoughtful and
purposeful about things and how we go about doing them
differently.
RL: There is a high sense of urgency among many
companies to be the first mover.

DS: That's okay as long as you understand the implications.
You can have a company culture of being first with the
understanding that you may fail more often than not. That
is okay if that is how you go to market and you understand
and can live with the benefit and the risk. My view is we can't
race at every shiny new penny. Because technology can be so
enamoring you just have to be prudent about the directions
you go in.
RL: How did you develop that philosophy? Is it
something you learned the hard way?


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Leader - May/June 2018

Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 7
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 8
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 9
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 10
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 11
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 12
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 13
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 14
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 15
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 16
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 17
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 18
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S4
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S7
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S8
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 19
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 20
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 21
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Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover4
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