EY launches Microsoft-backed analytics platform for retail industry

18 August 2016 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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EY has, as part of its strategic alliance with Microsoft, launched a ‘Commercial Analytics Services Hub’. The new cloud-based analytics platform will, according to the Big Four firm, help consumer products and retail companies build a strategic advantage by leveraging data related insights, such as those on consumer choices, allowing for better internal decision-making.

Research shows that consumer products and retail companies (CPR) have over the years seen their landscape globalise and toughen. Today, more than 70% of CPR companies finding profitable growth far more challenging than a decade ago, revealed a recent survey from EY, and one of the means they are looking at to bolster profitability is through analytics. “Companies that embed powerful commercial analytics can generate up to 22% higher operating income than their competitors”, says Rob Holston, EY Global Consumer Products and Retail Analytics Leader.

In a bid to tap into the potential, CPR have over the years embraced a wide range of methodologies, technologies and tools, yet, down the line they continue to struggle with unlocking the chain’s full value, says Holston. “All too often, insights and their value are trapped in static tools and reports, diminishing their relevance in key decision-making.”

EY launches Microsoft-backed analytics platform for retail industry

In a bid to better support the analytics objectives of the industry, EY has teamed up with Microsoft to launch EY CASH (Commercial Analytics Services Hub). The new offering, which blends EY’s sector experience with the flexibility and scalability of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Cortana Intelligence, allows users to build predictive analytics models from multiple data sources to draw insights across their business, and provide those insights to key decision-makers through a single (mobile) platform. “As technology, analytics and data converge, there are new ways to bring sharper insights that inform and predict consumer choices”, explains Holston. 

The proposition focuses on three main dimensions of the sales & marketing process: core revenue management, retail execution and marketing productivity. 

Asked for what distinguishes EY CASH from the dozens of others tools in the marketplace, Holston points at four factors. Insight (“it will create value through a detailed understanding of key issues and desired outcomes”), speed (“companies must quickly convert analytical insights into action to capture both opportunities and consumer attention in today’s fast-paced environment”), an integral approach to analysis (“EY CASH frees-up insights that would previously have been captive within isolated functions or personnel”) and a strong user experience (“users can customise their own apps”).