What's in this podcast?

In this episode, Jason talks to Sophie Duffy, Head of Data and Analytics at the Kingfisher Group, an international home improvement conglomerate.

Listen to this episode on Spotify, iTunes, and Stitcher. You can also catch up on the previous episodes of the Hub & Spoken podcast when you subscribe.

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One Big Message

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever before to put customers first. With so much data available, businesses can uncover what customers want and need before they even know it. By analysing data, businesses can gain insights that help them create a better customer experience.


[00:40] Sophie’s career journey in data

[04:30] Insight into Kingfisher Group and how the different brands operate

[08:00] How the pandemic accelerated the growth of the home improvements sector

[12:55] Ways that Kingfisher uses data and analytics to come up with different data sets to help customers and suppliers

[17:17] How Kingfisher uses data to structure systems that help to enhance a buyer’s experience

[22:20] Creating a seamless experience between the online and in-store 

[25:00] Kingfisher’s central data platform and how it works within the ecosystem of their 12 retail brands

[27:30] How the data and analytics team works together, and the team’s skill sets 

[31:00] Why data is so important in helping companies put customers first



The right information, at the right time

Today, customers are more discerning than ever. They expect a personalised experience that is tailored to their needs. And, they want information at their fingertips – whether it’s about your product or service, or about their order. Delivery of accurate and timely data is key to customer satisfaction. 

Data provides important insights such as buyer behaviour, which means that retailers can recommend certain items and give a much better user experience. For example, someone who is working on a DIY project at home may have a rough idea of what they need – but the recommended products section will suggest items to complete their project to a higher standard more efficiently. 


Online vs. in-store data

In order to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology and consumer behaviour, businesses need to find ways to create a seamless experience between their online and in-store channels. By using data effectively, businesses can ensure that customer information is properly tracked, and that customers have a positive experience whether they are shopping online or in person.

In certain circumstances the online experience is mainly used to scout for potential products or ideas prior to going in-store. In a retail setting, giving potential customers all the information they need to acquire an item easily – such as the aisle number, or if it’s in stock at a certain store, is an example of how joining the online and in-store experience together can enhance customer experience. 


How a holding group can elevate their brands using data

A holding group can use data to help elevate their brands and better compete in the market. However, even with a good strategy in place, there’s always more that can be done to improve performance. Recent advances in data technologies offer new opportunities for better insights and improved decision-making. By leveraging these technologies, holding companies can gain an edge over the competition and create value for their shareholders by helping the brands under their name implement and scale their strategies. 

Every brand under a holding is different, and as such has a different audience with their own unique set of data. A successful holding group finds a balance between practical implementation and supporting brands to create their own robust data departments that can run independently. 


To role of a data team and skill sets in a holding group

When most people think of data within a company, they picture the analysts and statisticians who compile and interpret numbers to help make strategic decisions. But there is another critical role in data management: the holding company data team. This team is responsible for acquiring, consolidating, and cleaning up data from across the organisation so that it can be used by other teams. Their skillsets are essential to ensuring that everyone has access to accurate information. 

The holding company data team is often overlooked, but their work is essential to making sure that all departments have access to timely, accurate information. They acquire, consolidate, and clean up data from across the organisation so that it can be used by other teams. This involves developing processes and systems that can be used by all the brands under the umbrella group. 

The skillsets of a holding group’s data team usually fall into 2 broad categories:

1) Data stewards that understand both the business and the technical aspects of data management. Stewards need to be able to translate complex requirements from business users into actionable steps for the IT department. They also need to be able to do programming and develop reports when needed. 

2) Project managers and analysts who can keep track of all the moving parts in a data governance initiative across the holding group.


To summarise

By analysing customer data and trends, businesses can identify what customers want and need, and then tailor a smooth customer journey to enhance their experience. A customer-centric approach is sure to result in a more satisfied customer base – and that’s good news for any business.

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