Why Retail Analytics Specialists Need New Skills

Following the consumer fallout of the massive security breach that engulfed Target, retail analytics specialists may find it tougher to glean valuable shopping data from consumers.

SaleConsumers’ privacy concerns have already been heightened by the National Security Agency phone spying debacle, and may be exacerbated by the Target incident, making them more reluctant to willingly share information with retailers. Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that 2014 will be the year of privacy, says InformationWeek.

In the wake of all this, retail analytics specialists may need to rely more on data gleaned from stealth-like monitoring apps like those developed by Euclid, which uses shoppers’ smartphone Wi-Fi signals to reveal their movements inside a store. The technology doesn’t require shoppers to opt-in.

For a peek at the skills needed to work in such an environment, a Euclid job description for an analytics scientist includes:

  • Predictive Modeling and Analysis Experience
  • Applying Machine Learning to Complex Problems
  • Proficiency with SQL
  • Proficiency in Python, R, Ruby or other Modern Scripting Languages
  • Familiarity with Unix Environments

Retail Analytics Jobs in Demand

Whether consumers lock down the release of their information or opt out — if that’s possible — of systems that monitor their shopping data, it’s unlikely retailers will give up on efforts to learn more about their customers, online or offline. As a result, the demand for retail analytics specialists will likely grow.

Retailers who issue their own branded credit cards, for instance, will continue to use point-of-sale transactions to gather up customer-specific purchasing data. Thus, retail analytics specialists with experience in POS systems will continue to find their skills in demand.

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