What do football teams and successful retailers have in common? Data-driven agility

With a particularly exciting NFL season culminating in February in Arizona, it has struck me lately that real-time data is now playing an increasingly important role in pro football. In addition to preparing a game plan in advance, most teams are now using data and technology to make improvements mid game.

Many of us can remember a time when the most prized gear on the sidelines of a game was probably a hefty Gatorade cooler. Not anymore – coaches and players now rely on mid-game data to make quick adjustments that are pushed straight to the scoreboard. Even pro football veteran Tom Brady can be seen on the bench diligently studying a mobile tablet, gaining insights to better lead the next series of games – and capitalize on his opponent’s weaknesses. I’m waiting to review feature films the following week just not enough anymore.

Game-changer is a buzzword that has probably been thrown around a bit too much. But like pro baseball, NFL teams are uncovering new layers of next-generation analytics that are literally redefining their sport — from tracking an individual player’s on-field speed to their physical recovery rates from workouts, games and injuries.

In light of this new age of “data-driven” football, it is easy to draw parallels with retail. In both worlds, old playbooks revolved around chasing yesterday’s numbers, but today’s retail winners are turning to advanced data science — particularly AI and machine learning — to determine critical mid-season adjustments and count extra points you scoreboard.

It starts with combining the right data, including seasonality, pricing, promotions, and projected product lifecycles, with AI modeling for accurate, hyper-localized data Demand forecasting and planningEffectively anticipating and “managing” rapid consumer changes – more important than ever in this volatile post-pandemic economy.

data driven allocation and replenishment ensures retailers both in-store and across DC are constantly stocking the right products – agilely maneuvering around sudden supply chain disruptions – to avoid costly immovable overstock or the ultimate retail “fiddle” – the frustrated shopper who needs the fed up with constant stockouts and is taking their business to a competitor.

AI powered Life Cycle Pricing enables retailers to stay ahead of traditional seasonalities and outdated ad-hoc markdown processes to deliver optimized sell-through at maximum margins for every SKU – from reliable frontrunners to underperforming second-stringers. AI/ML pricing solutions have proven essential to pinpoint each product’s elusive sweet spot – fastest sales volume with highest net profit.

Gridiron metaphors aside, there are clear similarities between football’s data revolution and the data-driven innovations that retailers are adopting in all aspects of their operations. Step one is accessing the relative value of a given data set, the next is actually integrating that data into an actionable game plan. At antuit.ai, we hope you’ll be happy with how your favorite NFL team performed this season – and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you retail trade team, now and in the future.

— Sivakumar Lakshmanan, CEO, anuit.ainow part of Zebra Technologies

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