Swink and panel at pwc

Morgan Swink Leads Talk on Turning Big Data into Results

Retailers and suppliers learn how to overcome barriers and capitalize on the potential of big data. 

May 22,  2014

By Elaine Cole

Everyone in retail, from suppliers to sellers, is talking about the potential for driving faster growth, greater responsiveness, better shopper experiences and lowered costs through big data.

Morgan Swink, executive director of the Supply and Value Chain Center at the Neeley School of Business at TCU, led a panel discussion about turning data and analytics into real, tangible results, as part of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Retail and Consumer Luncheon Series May 9 in Irving.

Swink moderated an interactive panel that represented the views and experiences of big data managers and academics on the ways retailers and suppliers can make the most of big data opportunities.

Panelists included:

  • Nadia Shouraboura, CEO of Hointer Stores, the industry’s most innovative omnichannel retailer that has reinvented in-store retailing and turning heads in the Pacific Northwest
  • Martha Roos, vice president of Enterprise Data Delivery, BIS, for PepsiCo, a packaged good’s data scientist
  • Chris Curran,  chief technologist and principal in the advisory practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers, responsible for technology strategy and innovation
  • Brent Williams, assistant professor of supply chain management at the Walton School of Business, University of Arkansas
  • A lively exchange between the panelists and the audience yielded some good stories, guiding insights, and lessons learned.

Led by Swink, the panelists discussed anecdotes, success stories and barriers that often diminish the rewards of collecting and analyzing big data. Problems include not having a clearly defined analytics strategy and the inability to quickly and efficiently capture, consolidate, synthesize and convey data to the right people at the right time from many disparate systems.

They discussed the importance of an enabling organization structure that leverages real-time data collaboration to make business decisions for immediate impact, and the flexibility and empowerment needed across the organization to act correctly on those insights.

“Most of us are at least vaguely aware of the potential for big data, but companies are struggling with developing the right vision and implementing the organizational changes needed to utilize it,” Swink said. “Our event and the lively exchange between the panelists and the audience yielded some good stories, guiding insights and lessons learned.”