Sainsbury’s taps into machine learning for insight blitz

sainsbury.jpg 2Sainsbury’s is ramping up its pursuit of a data-driven nirvana by working with both Accenture and Google to implement machine learning technology to identify what customers want and the trends driving their eating habits.

The retail giant already gathers data from multiple sources; it has over 18.5 million members of the Nectar loyalty scheme and claims to have 33 million customer records at its disposal. To delve even deeper, Sainsbury’s commercial and technology teams, in partnership with Accenture, are building machine learning solutions on the Google Cloud Platform.

Sainsbury’s solution relies on data from multiple structured and unstructured sources, using Google Cloud’s cloud-based analytics tools to ingest, clean and classify that data. A custom-built front-end interface, allowing internal users to navigate through a variety of filters and categories, gives the retailer advanced insights in real-time.

As a result, Sainsbury’s has been able to develop predictive analytics models to spot trends and adjust inventory, and this, it claims, is providing shoppers with a better experience.

Sainsbury’s group chief information officer Phil Jordan said: “The grocery market continues to change rapidly. We know our customers want high quality at great value and that finding innovative and distinctive products is increasingly important to them.

“With the help of Google Cloud Platform, we are generating new insights into how the world eats and lives, to help us stay ahead of market trends and provide an even better shopping experience for our customers.”

Accenture managing director for retail Adrian Bertschinger added: “The food sector is experiencing significant, rapid disruption, and this new, cloud-based insights platform will help Sainsbury’s identify trends much earlier and adapt its product assortment in a faster, more informed way – all for the benefit of customers.”

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