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A Royal Wedding. World Cup 2018. Wimbledon. The last few months have seen a whirlwind of activity in the UK. A few years ago, who would have predicted a royal wedding to an American actress? Or the upset at Wimbledon in both the women’s and the men’s finals? And, of course, who could forget England’s unprecedented run or France’s leap to World Cup victory with their 4-2 win over Croatia. With such significant shocks at both the World Cup and Wimbledon signal, we have to ask ourselves; is this a turning of the tide? Federer is still reaching for his 21st Grand Slam title. Serena Williams reached the Wimbledon finals a few months after having a baby and having suffered a pulled pectoral muscle. Both dynasties on the grass faced opponents breathing fire, hungry for the win. But whilst The Championships led to some unexpected results, it's the World Cup 2018 that really shook the boat.What Data and Predictive Analytics Taught Us We’ve all done it. Making predictions based on historical data, the always was, and the dynasties of a well-oiled machine, is our best way of guessing how our favourite competitions will work out. We think ‘if Team A has played this way, that way, or won year-on-year’ then surely, it will be that way again. But sometimes, as Steve Lohr points out:“Listening to the data is important … but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?” Perhaps one of the reasons for this year’s lack of predictability has been that the best performances have come from unexpected sources. Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar Jr. all under performed in Russia, leaving room for Croatia’s golden generation to shine and France’s youthful side to make their mark. This explanation is supported by FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup Doppelganger tool, which offers a look at the statistical footprint of every player since 1966. From this, we can see that the breakout performances of 2018 were from teams that, with the exception of France, you may not have expected at the beginning of the tournament; Belgium, England, Mexico, and Switzerland:Kylian Mbappé, France, 19 Romelu Lukaku, Belgium, 25 Kieran Trippier, England, 27 Hirving Lozano, Mexico, 22 Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, 26 Kylian Mbappe, at 19, is the youngest and the first teenager to score in a World Cup since Pele in 1958. With further breakout performances from players such as Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin makes it clear there’s room to grow, giving new life to recruitment trends. Even in football, diversity is key. The Best is Yet to Come Like this year’s Wimbledon upsets, the 2018 World Cup suggests that there are new dynasties in the making. Though France has just claimed their second ever World Cup trophy, this is only the beginning for their current squad. According to TransferMarkt.com, of France’s top 13 players, only two are older than 25 and, at 19, star player Kylian Mbappe is the first teenager to score at a World Cup since Pele in 1958. The future is looking bright for Les Bleus. Looking Beyond the Obvious Whilst we often use predictive analytics in sports, sometimes we need someone who can see beyond the obvious trends and analyse what unexpected events may occur. If you’re interested in analytics and ready to take the world by storm, we may have a role for you. We specialise in Junior and Senior roles. To lean more, check out our current vacancies, call our UK team on +44 20 8408 6070, or email us at email@example.com.
01. August 2018
Real-time pricing: coming to a store near you.Personal shopping is on the brink of taking on a whole new meaning. The advancement of mobile technology and the information held on individuals' shopping histories means product prices could soon adapt as shoppers walk up and down their supermarket aisle.Gone are the days of retailers only being able to actively manage the price of a small number of products once a week. Algorithmic pricing and real-time competitive pricing data allows the changing of product prices on the fly.Amazon is at the forefront of such "real-time pricing" initiatives, which have traditionally been the preserve of online-only retailers.However, brick-and-mortar retailers in the US are showing their UK counterparts the limitless possibilities when it comes to dynamic pricing.Independent consumer electronics retailer Abt Electronics pipes competitive pricing data gathered by Dynamite Data into its point-of-sale systems to allow staff to negotiate prices at the point-of-sale, according to Dynamite Data chief executive Diana Schulz.Meanwhile, another one of Dynamite Data’s unnamed clients uses electronic shelf labels and re-prices every product in their stores each morning based on the prices of its rivals.The ability to change prices dynamically is not simply the preserve of all-powerful brands such as Walmart or Target either.Schulz explained that her company has "seen these types of technologies in both large and mid-sized retailers" despite the "investment in technology and competitive data that is typically needed".Commercial sensitivitiesBack in the UK things are not quite as close to a Minority Report-style personalized shopping experience.Even online-only specialists Shop Direct and Ocado claim they do not engage in real-time pricing, while those that do heavily use real-time data to adapt their prices such as the airline brands are reluctant to discuss the issues.EasyJet declined to comment when contacted because of commercial sensitivities around discussing pricing-related issues.Grocers Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have all claimed they do not engage in real-time pricing, with the latter two both citing the logistical difficulties in aligning such a strategy across their physical stores and online presence.A Sainsbury’s spokesman claims real-time pricing would result in "chaos", while an Asda spokeswoman saying such a strategy would be a "nightmare".Yet, despite such a negative perspective from UK brands, experts are confident real-time pricing will arrive on these shores sooner or later.Simon Spyer, a partner of VCCP data arm Conduit who began his career working on the Sainsbury's Nectar business, believes the UK will begin to see "more and more" of matching rivals’ prices dynamically, particularly in the grocery and electrical sectors.He explained that real-time pricing is likely to affect "anything where the product is largely commoditized" and in instances where the only way retailers can differentiate that product is by "being really keen on price".Electronic labelsAs it stands the major barrier for implementing "real-time pricing" in-store is changing the prices to match the online price, a hurdle that could be removed by the electronic shelf labels being pioneered in the US.Schemes like Tesco Price Promise and Asda Price Guarantee already use real-time data to 'price match'In the UK various retailers have dipped their toes into the water when it comes to electronic shelf-labeling including a Nisa Local store in Shrewsbury that launched a trial in August last year to carry out automatic pricing and timed promotional updates, alongside QR codes and meal deals.Tesco has also experimented with electronic labeling on various occasions with trials in 2006 and 2008, but the retail giant has yet to combine real-time pricing with its electronic labels.Spyer claims "the capability is definitely there both online and offline – it is whether there is a business rationale for investing in it".However, with major UK supermarkets lacking a pressing reason to implement real-time pricing, that investment may be slow in arriving, argues Kaye Coleman, the founder of price consultancy Ripe Strategic.Coleman explains: "The supermarkets already do price matching – it is not so sophisticated but price matching is already happening".Schemes including the Tesco Price Promise, the Asda Price Guarantee and the Sainsbury’s Brand Match currently use real-time data to "price match" by offering money off the next shop.A cynic could argue the supermarkets should knock money off at the till rather than relying on customers to redeem their vouchers at the next shop, but such an action could hit the companies' bottom line.Mobile sophisticationThe growing sophistication of mobile marketing is also likely to revolutionize the way brands approach their price matching."If you can come up with a value proposition where I check-in [on my mobile] when I walk through the store for the first time and that presents me with a personalized experience based on my purchase history then I could see the benefit for a customer and a retailer," said Spyer.The trick for retailers is persuading customers to adopt such behavior, but the offer of being delivered ever-changing personalized price offers and messages in-store is a compelling proposition.Personalization is already a priority for retailers. Sainsbury’s uses anonymized shopping data gathered from the Nectar card to personalize offers.The levels of personalization offered by Sainsbury’s are increasingly complex. If a female customer buys folic acid they will be sent promotions on other pregnancy-related supplements during the pregnancy period and offers on nappies further down the line.UK retailers are sure to keep a close eye on developments over the Atlantic, with Schulz claiming she knows of clients that are piloting technologies that enable in-store personalized discounts.The challenges on the high-street mean there will inevitably be more casualties, but real-time pricing does not have to be the sole preserve of online-only retailers.Innovative ways of manipulating real-time data could be the shot in the arm the high-street retail industry so desperately needs.This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.ukClick here for the article on the web.
21. January 2015
The most anticipated Salary Survey within Data and Analytics has arrived!
Harnham's Salary Guide for 2018 reveals more positive trends for Data and Analytics professionals within a distinctly candidate driven market. To receive your copy please click the link below.2018 Salary Guide
“As the worlds biggest Data & Analytics recruitment business it is our responsibility to share our insights with the industry and help empower both candidates and clients."Simon Clarke, Managing Partner of Harnham