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Retail Industry and IT Data Management

In the world of retail, data is king. From inventory management to customer engagement, having accurate, up-to-date information is crucial to success. But let's be honest, managing all that data can feel like painting the Forth Road Bridge – a never-ending, multi-headed monster that just won't stay in line. That's where Mastech's team of data management specialists comes in, armed with the skills and experience that can help you conquer that beast once and for all.

Retail is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry, and with the rise of technology and data, the sector has seen a significant shift in the way business is conducted. Data is a crucial aspect of the retail industry, and retailers are turning to technology to help manage, analyse, and make decisions based on this information.

So, what are the five big challenges of data management in the retail sector? Well, buckle up because we're about to take you on a journey through the data wilderness.

1. Data in Motion: Just like the hustle and bustle of the high street, data is constantly moving and changing. Retailers need to ensure that their data management systems can keep up with this fast pace. Otherwise, they'll be left behind.

2. Data as an Asset: Data is worth its weight in gold, and retailers must treat it as such. From customer information to sales figures, retailers need to ensure that their data is safe, secure, and can be easily accessed when needed, but also ensure it doesn't wander off.

3. Data Activation: Data is only valuable if it can be leveraged to make informed decisions. Retailers need to have systems in place that allow them to activate their data, putting the information they need in front of the decisions they need to make. Hence, decisioning unlocked.

4. Revenue and Stock Leakage: Nobody likes losing money, especially retailers. Poor data management can lead to stock and revenue leakage. Data management can help retailers avoid revenue and stock leakage by providing accurate, up-to-date information about inventory levels and sales. Artificial intelligence and analytics can help further by making smart decisions faster, but only if the data quality is there, to begin with.

5. GDPR in a Multi-Brand Retailer: With the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), retailers need to ensure that they are compliant with data protection regulations. This can be a challenge for multi-brand retailers, there can be huge complexities in managing consent across many brands and channels, but with the right data management systems in place, they can ensure they are GDPR compliant while also unlocking the value of their data.

So, how can we help you tackle these challenges? Our data management specialists bring years of expertise and experience to the table to ensure that your data management needs are met quickly and effectively. Whether you need help with data activation, revenue, and stock leakage, or GDPR compliance, we've got you covered.

One of the biggest challenges of data management in the retail sector is ensuring the accuracy and consistency of the data. With a large number of data sources, from Point of Sale (POS) systems to customer CRM data, it can be difficult to ensure that the data being used is accurate and up to date. This can lead to incorrect decisions and lost revenue. Retailers must ensure that customer data is secure and protected while also making sure that they are adhering to the regulations, and they must also be able to track and monitor data to detect any potential breaches or unauthorised access.

Another challenge is data silos, where different departments within a retail organisation have their own separate data sources, leading to a fragmented view of the data. This can lead to misaligned decisions and inefficiencies. There can also be issues in data management scalability - as retailers grow and expand, their data management systems must also be able to scale with them. This requires the ability to manage and process large volumes of data, as well as the ability to quickly implement new data sources as needed. And with all of this, there is the challenge of taking data and turning it into actionable insights. This requires a deep understanding of the data and the ability to analyse and interpret it in a way that provides value to the organisation.

The relationship between data and cash flow is crucial for today's retail management. Accurate information about stock levels and sales projections helps retailers streamline their inventory and supply chain operations. This leads to less money being tied up in inventory and stock. Effective stock and inventory management can result in fewer discounts. By using data to make informed decisions, including considering external factors like weather or social events and utilising predictive analysis, retailers can enhance their cash flow, increase profitability, and remain competitive in the market.

At Mastech, we understand these challenges in the retail sector and have a team of experts dedicated to helping our clients overcome them. Our data management service pods provide the best possible service to our clients, with a focus on delivering results that drive business value. Our pods are small, agile teams who work with our clients to provide tailored solutions that address their specific needs. These teams are made up of experienced data specialists who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. With a staff retention rate of 91%, Mastech is committed to providing the best possible service to our clients. Our team is dedicated to delivering the highest level of quality and excellence in the value chain of data.

To wrap up, data management is a crucial theme for the retail sector, and retailers must be able to manage and make decisions based on the data they trust. With the rise in data volumes and the sophistication of decision support systems, now is the time to ensure you have the data you need at the time and place you need.


1."General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)" (2016, April 27). European Commission.

2."Revenue Leakage: How to Calculate It & 6 Ways to Stop It" (2022, June 7) Julie Bennett.

3."Balancing Customer Privacy And Customer Experience: 12 Proven Methods (" (2020, February 24) Expert Panel, Forbes Communications Council.

4."Big Data Analytics Guide: 10 Ways to Drive Big Value (" (2020) QLIK data team

5."Big Data Analytics in Retail: Challenges and Opportunities (" (2023, January 11) CIO Review.

6."The Principles of Good Data Management 2nd Edition" (2005, July) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

7."Crossing the Data Delta" (2016, May 8) Jason Edge et al.

8."Data Analytics in Retail Industry: A Complete Guide" (2017, May 11) Deepesh Sharma


John Harrington

Consultant CIO, CDO Advisory and Strategic Data Management Consultant

John Harrington, a Consultant CIO and Strategic Data Management expert with a distinguished track record, is recognized globally for his leadership in Data Governance and Master Data Management.