"Everybody Bring Data to the Table", Teradata 2013

Monday morning kicked off the Teradata 2013 PARTNERS conference with presentations from Teradata president & CEO Mike Koehler, as well as a keynote presentation from author Daniel Pink. The focus of this year's conference revolves around the benefits and challenges of maximizing big data, and the changing roles of the IT and marketing departments. Here are some highlights from day one of the conference.
Koehler set the tone of the event with his closing statement, "Remember, In God we trust, everybody else bring data to the table." A hunch is not merely enough, retailers must present data to support their beliefs. From the evolution of technology, to the shift of information that puts customers in charge, there has been a transition from "buyers beware" to "sellers beware", according to Pink.
So how can retailers overcome this challenge? "The building blocks are in place to link marketing and IT in ways to benefit customers and companies," says Koehler. "Marketing needs to work with IT to deliver customer centric goals." The focus must shift from the technology to the information in IT.
Aligning with the idea that data leads to decision making, James Taylor, CEO of decision management solutions for Teradata, outlined the top five benefits of customer decision management, noting that retailers must focus on each customer as if they are the only customer because customers that are treated as a number eventually defect.
Mohran Namboodiri, VP of customer analytics for Williams-Sonoma also took the stage, presenting "Driving Omnichannel Business Improvement through Big Data". Namboodiri explained that Williams-Sonoma is at the intersection of analytics and lifestyle merchandising, utilizing its browse, cart abandonment and next product recommendation data to trigger event e-mails to customers. One of the first steps the retailer took was to develop a retail analytics team, which focuses on data science for the future of brick-and-mortar.
Later, David Stone, enterprise architect for The Home Depot, explained the retailer's evolution to dual active systems on Teradata. In order to begin this process says Stone, "you need to look at it not as products and unity, but as an ecosystem." The evolution helps to protect organizational assets and commitments as well as meets compliance requirements. "A key to our transformation has been the clear communication between our team and the Teradata team to determine the capabilities of the multi-system environment," notes Stone.
The Teradata Partners conference will conclude on Thursday, with sessions from Williams-Sonoma, Nordstrom, Walmart and more still to come.