Compared with other industries, retailers are ahead in some areas of cloud analytics — and lag in others. A new survey from Teradata reveals that retailers continue to invest heavily in cloud analytics to stay ahead of competitors and innovate for customers.
The largest global retailers are moving their analytics operations to the cloud at a rate faster than other industries. However, these companies say that’s still not fast enough. This critical finding from a new Teradata survey, The State of Analytics in the Cloud, suggests that retailers are no longer inhibited by the thought of their data being analyzed off premises and instead see a path to having all their analytics in the cloud.
Global companies are already moving to the cloud in areas other than analytics. For example, 35 percent (43 percent in retail) have adopted public cloud across the whole organization, and 39 percent (35 percent in retail) have adopted public cloud in some areas of the organization. Organizations are enjoying their experience with public cloud: 92 percent (94 percent in retail) feel they're somewhat or very successful with their use of the public cloud, according to the study.
The top benefits that companies are gaining through cloud analytics are faster deployment, improved security, faster insight into data and better performance. Retailers are seeing these same benefits, plus easier access by users.
Another revealing finding is that retailers above all other business types are planning to do more predictive analytics/machine learning in the public cloud environment. Overall, retailers want to take advantage of the perceived cost savings the public cloud offers by applying more complex statistical methods to large data sets. If retailers are diligent about hiding their customers’ identities and personal information, running predictive and description analytics in the public cloud becomes a sound economical option.
Retailers — more so than all other industries — also plan to move more management and administration capabilities to the public cloud. This is likely to streamline their management cost and remove much of their operation cost.
However, there are some challenges to overcome. Some of the biggest barriers to moving analytics to the cloud are security, immature and low-performing available technology, regulatory compliance, and lack of trust. For retailers, the biggest barriers include security, immature and low-performing available technology, lack of in-house skills, and regulatory compliance.
Other key findings include the following:
- One of three respondents are currently using complex deep learning and machine learning to power artificial intelligence (AI). That number jumps to 68 percent of respondents when including the companies that plan to adopt AI technologies in the next 12 months. Those numbers are even higher for retailers, with 40 percent already using complex deep learning and machine learning to power AI. More than 75 percent of retailers are planning to adopt AI in the next 12 months.
- Nearly half are doing data visualization and data mining today. That number increases to approximately 75 percent of respondents when including the companies that will adopt these technologies within the next 12 months. Among retailers, 59 percent are already doing data visualization, and 21 percent are conducting data mining.
Executives at global companies, especially retailers, believe the cloud is the best place to run enterprise-scale analytics — especially when you consider the positive results their efforts have produced. That’s why it's no wonder that almost all companies agree the march toward the cloud is moving slower than it should.
The State of Analytics in the Cloud survey polled senior technology leaders at 700 large, global organizations, with average global annual revenue of $9.73 billion (19 percent with revenue ranging to $50 billion). The study can be downloaded here.
Michael Halula is the retail-CPG sector GM, Americas at Think Big Analytics Teradata.