News Round-Up: 5 July

Keeping a finger on the pulse is critical to navigating today’s fast paced and intense market. So, we’ve rounded up the very best news related to AI, big data, retail, hospitality, transport and frontline management in one place:

Opportunity comes from fresh, multi-dimensional data

Data makes our world go around. And while keeping it fresh and up to date may be hard work, it is definitely worth the effort. According to a report in Digital Marketing Magazine, businesses need to make a habit of tracking data changes and seek out deeper insights from two-dimensional data. And it goes without saying that GDPR compliance is a must. The magazine reports that customer and prospect data can be “both an incredibly valuable resource and a liability, depending on its depth, relevance and, critically, timeliness”. The report adds: “Organisations have a choice: they can either remain in a stale, static sales environment with manually-gathered data, whenever the sales team can find the time; or, they can hire motivated, engaged sales reps and use fresh, relevant data sets, triggered by the latest events.”

AI and data-driven tech will revolutionise hospitality: report

The hospitality industry of the future will use artificial intelligence, biometric data, ‘super tech-savvy’ teams and other advanced technologies to provide intelligent and personalised experiences “beyond anything we can imagine today”. In a trend report released by Hilton in celebration of its 100th anniversary, the hotel chain predicts that “outstanding customer relationships will be key to guest loyalty in 2119”. The report adds: “New technology and data will provide incredible opportunities for hyper-personalisation of rewards, meaning a loyalty programme will be as unique as the guest using it – perfectly tailored to them.”

Retail adoption is fuelling AI innovation – and vice versa

Savvy retailers are using predictive analytics to improve the experiences they provide for customers by better anticipating their needs. According to Innovation Enterprise, retailers in 2017 already used data-driven decision-making to add an incredible $1.14 trillion in value. The publication reported that advances in AI and machine learning are now pushing those benefits even higher and that “predictive analytics and retail are on a crash course with one another”. It added that: “Retail adoption is inspiring improvements to AI’s capabilities even as AI is reshaping the ways retailers pursue client needs and demands.” The good news for smaller retailers is that the declining costs for computing power mean more companies than ever are able to explore AI and predictive analytics technologies.

Hospitality sector needs to prepare for disruption by tech giants

Data-driven technology giants like Amazon and Google are poised to disrupt the online travel and hospitality industries, Forbes recently reported. It interviewed experts who said others in the traditionally disruption-averse industry are looking for ways to respond to the challenge. And they’ll need to, especially if Amazon takes a deeper dive into the hospitality sector, says Nick Price, CEO of the hospitality technology consultancy NetSys Technology. “For all we know, Amazon could right now be working on a retail model of how to merchandise hospitality experiences for the 21st century and we wouldn’t know,” Price said.

AI lets retailers understand consumer data quickly and cost-effectively

Artificial intelligence is helping retailers improve their businesses in a variety of ways, from saving money to improving customer engagement, Retail Dive has reported. In fact, using AI in digital marketing and advertising is “one of the most cost-effective and time-saving ways to understand consumer data”. The publication stated: “No matter which way you look at it, AI is becoming a standard for successful marketing teams across the digital sphere.”

Walmart eyes automation, new management structures for better customer service

As part of its effort to make management “more responsive to the needs of its customers and staff”, Walmart is exploring several new management structures through its ‘Great Workplace’ initiative, RetailWire recently reported. In addition to remodelling and adding grocery pickup sites both inside and outside stores, the company has also focused on “using automation to reduce repetitive tasks while freeing up associates for customer-facing roles”.

Smart data can provide insights while protecting privacy

Using consumer data in appropriate ways can help city planners and transport service providers to serve people more effectively and manage communities better. The Conversation recently reported that Australia’s RailSmart Platform makes it easier for people to find ‘strategic’ jobs and housing based on travel times and transportation access. But privacy is essential, so all of the platform’s data is anonymised and aggregated to protect individuals. “What makes the platform so powerful is when a set of data that seems unimportant is analysed along with another set of data and all of a sudden the two sets of data actually indicate something of significance,” the publication reported.

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