UK retailers are struggling with the “triple data whammy” of a data science skills shortage, a lack of advanced data analytics tools and concerns over AI ethics, preventing executives from making smarter, more profitable, business-critical, future decisions.
So says a new study by tech firm Predyktable, which reveals both the tough economic conditions and the Covid hangover are driving the need for profitability in the short-term, with supply chain optimisation, labour and demand forecasting their top priorities to stay ahead.
However, nearly two-thirds (65%) of executives maintain their data analytics tools are not providing the best value across the business. While flagging a clear ROI issue, over 50% believe it is because their data analytics tools and approaches cannot deliver the data availability and quality to support confident future decision making. Other constraints include high perceived adoption costs of new systems or processes and unclear, poorly defined, data-driven strategies.
Navigating data ethics when using AI is also major concern, with 70% of those surveyed worried about the lack of regulations governing the safe exploitation of AI’s potential.
Done correctly, this can augment data analytics to better support smarter, more confident future decision making. Key skills gaps are another issue, with over 80% of executives reporting shortages of data scientists.
Many existing data analytics and business intelligence tools still do not offer predictive capabilities to support and recommend better future decisions yet 86% of executives surveyed view these as their most sought-after capabilities and 70% said they will favour those that cater for their specific business challenges.
Predyktable CEO and co-founder Phillip Sewell said: “Most senior executives lack the data quality and advanced predictive analytics capabilities needed to support profitable forward decision making.
“There’s universal agreement that more AI fuelled predictive data capabilities are required. Another big concern is the need for AI regulatory guardrails, so it’s safely and ethically exploited to help executives make more confident business-critical decisions on the future.”
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