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© Capgemini 2021

According to a recent study, data-driven retailers and consumer goods manufacturers have measurable advantages over their competitors. Three out of four companies (73%) said they “derive quantifiable business value from their data” and 62% said they were able to achieve scale with their AI and analytics concepts. Compared to the industry average, these “data masters” achieved a 30% higher profit margin and used data for targeted innovation and business purposes. These are the findings of “The Age of Insight: How Consumer Product and Retail Organizations Can Accelerate Value Capture from Data”, a study by the Capgemini Research Institute that surveyed 200 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers worldwide.

It found that enterprises that already had a good basis of data before the pandemic had an easier time adapting to the new digital-first environment. They were able to rapidly align their products, services and business models with current market needs and customer demands, letting them stand out from their competitors successfully. However, the study said that only 16% of consumer goods manufacturers and 6% of retailers had reached this “data master” status. Moreover, data-driven companies were found to have profited from the trend towards sustainability. They used data and analytics to establish business models based on the circular-economy principle. Forty-seven per cent of the surveyed businesses invest in AI, machine learning and sensors for the industrial internet of things (IIoT) in order to meet their sustainability targets. Seventy-seven per cent hope for stronger customer loyalty from sustainability initiatives while 63% expect greater revenue.

“The competitive pressure is high in the consumer goods and retail industries in particular. Businesses should be aware that data is an essential foundation for their business model and that data management and governance maturity determines long-term success,” said Tobias Weisel from Capgemini. For companies looking to making rewarding use of their data, the study recommends “fostering a data-powered culture and empowering teams with data at the point of need”, “modernising the data platform for faster implementation of insights”, “strengthening trust in data with right data governance and data ethics” and “plugging into external data ecosystems to enable new business models and deeply understand consumers and operations”.

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