It’s been said that “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” It is absolutely worthwhile for retailers today to take significant steps toward streamlining processes and building efficiencies, becoming smarter and more agile in making decisions as they go. But there is a right way to go about leveraging technology – particularly when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) in business – to enable those efforts, and it’s something not many retailers today are putting into practice.
Retailers leveraging AI must ensure that the insights they’re investing in are connected to their modes of execution, or the internal systems that will be activated to perform appropriate actions. AI technology does an excellent job of making sense of big data streams and making recommendations for proposed strategies, but without seamless and real-time execution abilities, those insights aren’t worth much. As an example, an AI-based recommendation for improving the performance of a promotion loses its power if a retailer stumbles through the slow and siloed handoff to demand forecasting teams or allocation engines.
We’ve previously explored this missing “activation” piece that comes after “identification,” and today we round out the three-part framework by discussing the critical “realization” that must be a part of the process. After a strategy is seamlessly executed, what results can you tie back to that effort to quantify the value your technology delivers?
Proving the value of technology based on business outcomes
You will never realize business value if there’s no connection between your insights and execution, but what level of results analysis should you aspire to? You need technology that enables you to measure results to realize if the execution delivered the anticipated growth, whether it be sales lift or an increase in offer redemptions, among other goals.
The right technology can determine if revenue actually grew as a result of an executed strategy. There is no guessing or hypothesizing. In an ideal world, you’d have immediate clarity and confidence because of a tool that told you, “You realized X million dollars in revenue because you changed Y, and going back to the insights identified, a similar change in another category will yield similar results.”
As a part of a holistic platform, AI enables this, but it’s machine learning that builds momentum for a retailer. AI learns from across the data set, and machine learning and deep learning build efficiency and accuracy as a retailer continually activates on the insights.
Artificial intelligence in business will identify, activate, realize results
“Identify, activate, realize.” It’s a continuous loop, one that is best enabled through AI, and it’s really the only right way to do business today. Symphony RetailAI is focused on delivering this holistic framework through our Personal Decision Coach, CINDE, and our powerful suite of revenue growth management solutions. Smarter, faster and more profitable decisions are possible, and they’re fueled by the post-event analysis that determines how “right” your initial decisions were.
For more information on this topic, read our viewpoint paper, titled Identify, Activate, Realize – Use AI to drive profitable revenue growth.