Speaking at the Retail Business Technology Expo in London, John Lewis's head of IT architecture, Julian Burnett, said that the company is coming to terms with the masses of data being generated across its operations. Here is an excerpt from a write up of his discussion from pcadvisor.co.uk:
"Retailers are awash with [data]," he said. "But how do we make any sense of it? How do we bring to bear some of the value that is locked into the data we have?
He continued: "Big data is a big hype, but an organization like John Lewis — and any other retailer — needs to get its head around how we bring together large amounts of structured and unstructured data in a quick and effective manner, in order to generate some level of insight for how to best serve our customers, and how to best select our products."
New innovations being trialled by the company that are likely to further increase the amount of customer data being generated. Burnett pointed to a trial of a 'magic mirror' augmented reality system involving the creation of a huge database of digital content, while a system to passively 'pinpoint' customers in store to allow better planning of the retail space, is being looked at. John Lewis is also looking into the use of mobile payment platforms and digital wallets, though the company is currently hedging its bets on implementation of any particular system.
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