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Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

It seems that we might now be well and truly entering the era of the data and digital analyst in the retail industry. Recent research from OC&C Strategy Consultants found that 60,000 new digital and analytical roles will be urgently required by 2020 in the fashion industry alone.

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Who you gonna call…

This is a big number and highlights how the skill sets needed by retailers is changing dramatically. Mathematicians and number crunchers weren’t exactly needed in great numbers in the retail industry even a handful of years ago but now we are living in a very different era.

The many start-ups in the fashion industry recognised this some time ago and have had data at the heart of their business models – and employed the relevant individuals accordingly. They have been hoovering up all the best talent in this area for some years.

The more enlightened established retailers have also seen this shift taking place and have been building up their analytical expertise. Among them is Shop Direct. It is noticeable how it has focused attention on data and the individuals with the skill sets that will enable it to develop its data-driven capabilities such as personalisation.

New hires have included Gael Decoudu as head of science and digital analytics, Asssi Gol as customer intelligence director and Sasha Berson as group strategy and customer director. Not only are their titles exotic for the retail sector but their previous experience has been very much gained outside the industry.

They have been pulled from Vistaprint, McKinsey & Co., and Groupon respectively, which highlights how retailers will have to spread their nets beyond their own sector if they are to find the right people.

This situation will become even more prevalent as the retail industry in general comes around to realising that it is in a nasty scrap for the best talent. It is therefore absolutely time to start looking for the right people now.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

K3 Retail deliver multi-channel solutions that enable retailers to create joined up shopping experiences for their customers whether they choose to buy on-line, direct, in-store or via mobile. It has over 20 years’ experience delivering award winning solutions, to more than 175 internationally recognised retail brands.