“Unlike most ‘Big Data’ companies, we do not focus on creating an off-the-shelf product. Our strategy involves getting embedded deeply within client processes to create value with our analytics and data. We become a part of how a company makes decisions and we try to develop solutions that ride the rails of their existing infrastructure,” says Jim Quallen, CEO of North Analytics. With experienced business consultants and scientists, the engagement team takes up process and project management roles in the ongoing data and analytics function for the client. Realizing that every client engagement, as well as their underlying systems, is different, North Analytics follows a unique strategy for each client tailored to meet the requirements of their business processes, rather than sticking to a one size-fits-all approach.
A key industry focus for North Analytics is Retail due to the extreme pressure on “brick and mortar” businesses today. There are many opportunities for growth and profitability improvement, but bad decisions can be very costly. Despite the extreme amounts of available data, much of it is unused and represents a missed opportunity for understanding the customer base at a granular level, says Quallen. “This is where big data comes in. We look at the customer and transaction level, which is more accurate than anything available in syndicated data.
Our strategy involves getting embedded deeply within client processes to create value with our analytics and data
We can create a block-by-block view of what their customers look like and what their preferences are going to be, and use that to forecast revenue or target promotions. ,” he adds. Taking a deep dive into understanding client’s proprietary data assets, customers, historical performance, and more, North Analytics employs its capability to gather external data at scale. The company is uniquely positioned to create powerful analytics with this unique external data linked to brand-specific client data.
For a retail hypermarket in Europe, North Analytics was engaged to create multi-year revenue forecasts for new locations. This retailer spends over a billion US dollars per year on new locations so forecast accuracy has become a core competence. North Analytics looked at the historical performance of each retail store that involved unique factors including location, population, and economic characteristics of each existing site. The team analyzed every possible aspect of the store by applying machine learning techniques to identify the most critical variables. From there, the team created a model that is used to create detailed forecasts for the revenue of each potential location. Without any field work, North Analytics has made it possible to screen each potential location and maximize the efficiency of the finite site evaluation resources.
Scripting similar success stories, North Analytics is set to tap into numerous opportunities for delivering better innovations in the Retail sector. In the coming years, North Analytics aims to pursue more scientific approaches for enhancing their analytics capabilities and expand further into North American customers. “Data science is how our company lives and breathes, and it’s important for us to stay at the forefront of technology and make things work with powerful analytics,” concludes Quallen.