Hello everyone and welcome to Adastra’s GCP Podcast called “Mastering Google Cloud Made Easy”. My name is Ivaylo Dimitrov, and I am a Google Cloud Solution Architect. Today, I am going to share some insights on how to become a customer-centric data-driven Retailer with Google Cloud, but before we proceed, please make sure you subscribe to our channel to stay tuned with our latest GCP insights.
Let us get started with a brief overview of today’s episode. First, I will stress on the importance of data in retail organizations. Then we will look into how Retailers can leverage Google Cloud to implement a modern data strategy.
OK, so, how important is data to Retail organizations in reality?
To answer this question, we need to keep in mind that Retailers have been experiencing a challenging exponential increase in data volumes in the past decade, and more noticeably in the last two years due to Covid.
And reality is – this data is coming from disparate sources: you have advertising data, you have information coming from your e-commerce, you have brick and mortar sales, inventory data, pricing, marketplace data, and so on. There is an explosion of this information, which brings the challenge, but also the opportunity to retain customer loyalty over competition, fueled by big data analytics for the retail market.
According to industry reports, about 70% of all sales in 2024 will be digitally impacted, and most of them will be either made online or influenced by digital channels. In fact, the data is often collected at large scale, organizations have created their own data lakes capturing a lot of information, but also they are losing potential on finding hidden patterns and getting the most out of it. Turning data into actionable insights requires a strategic visionary approach and flawless collaboration between Senior Management, IT teams, Marketing and Administration. However, we often see multiple data silos between departments fueled by legacy structures or even worse – lack of strategic planning.
A Retailer is using, on average, up to 30 tools to do marketing, which proves the necessity of effective relationship between the IT and Marketing teams. Normally the IT department generates reports which are consumed by the Chief Marketing Officers and their team to plan and execute campaigns accordingly.
Problem is that by the time an IT department adopts a new technology, it might no longer bring competitive edge to the business team.
Ok, on the other hand, marketing teams generate customer data and that may not be well governed, secured and maintained. This becomes even more challenging when it comes to compliance with global regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
But do not worry. Adastra is here to help unleash the power of your data and unlock its hidden value. Let’s move forward. The challenge is clear, but hey, for every problem there is a solution, doesn’t it? Let us explore its secret ingredients.
Serverless Data Warehouse
The first one is a serverless data warehouse. Yes, you can leverage the serverless, self-tuning, highly scalable, modern data warehouse provided by Google Cloud. It is the BigQuery and that is easy to set up and manage. You can get it up and running quickly and start querying from gigabytes to petabytes of data using a standard SQL. Also, you can automatically move from hundreds of popular applications to BigQuery using data transformation services or use data integration tools such as the native Cloud Data Fusion, or another 3-rd party platforms such as Informatica, Alteryx, Talend, and many more to transform your data at any scale.
The second ingredient is Smart Analytics or the ability to turn data into actionable insights in a timely fashion. You are no longer stuck with the static data provided by traditional systems. You can now improve productivity, decision-making, and innovation by delivering more insights to the user with Looker.
You can even enrich your data with Google Cloud products for predictive analytics, operationalize machine learning and predict business outcomes seamlessly without the need of moving your data from the data warehouse. You can build machine learning models using standard SQL in BigQuery ML, or you can automatically create them by pointing to Auto ML tables and BigQuery. If your business case is more complex, we can help you leverage the Cloud ML Engine and TensorFlow allowing to train your models on structured data with speed and quality.
The third ingredient of being a data-driven Retailer is Data Governance. A scalable, enterprise-wide Data Governance framework is central to ensure high performance, quality, sustainability, and scalability of your information management system.
We guide organizations manage their massive data sets and help them build a refined data governance strategy. We make sure your data is proactively and efficiently managed across the company in a standardized format and can be accessed and used when needed to get business insights faster and increase the operational efficiency.
BigQuery’s service-level agreement provides an industry-leading 99.99% uptime per calendar month.
The cloud-based data warehouse provides robust a security, governance, and reliability controls that ensures peace of mind. Your data will be automatically replicated, restored and backed up to ensure business continuity. You can also classify and redact sensitive data in Google Cloud using a Cloud Data-loss Prevention and leverage fine-grain identity access management from the Cloud IAM.
To wrap it up – bringing serverless data warehouse, smart analytics, and governance together will pave the road to sustainable business growth powered by customer centricity. It helps you facilitate intelligent and data-driven retail operations that bring digitalization and tremendous customer experiences. You can check our website for more details and the best practices.
Well, that is all for today’s episode of “Mastering Google Cloud Made Easy”. Thank you for joining and I hope you can take these three important takeaways on how to become and stay a customer-centric data-driven company.
Make sure you subscribe to our channel to always stay tuned with the latest insights we share. Join us again next time when you will hear valuable tips on how to respond to unpredictable demand spikes and patterns. Goodbye and stay safe.