- Westfield Corp. named Raghav Lal chief data and analytics officer to oversee the mall owner’s new big data and analytics group, Retailing Today reported.
- The team will be charged with conceptualizing, developing, and implementing the company’s data strategy.
- Lal will work with Westfield Labs’ chief digital officer, Kevin McKenzie to pair data and analytics with cutting-edge technologies to create “personalized, intuitive and rich retail experiences,” according to The Business Journals.
Lal’s appointment reflects the retail industry’s embrace of big data, and its elevation of analytics experts to the c-suite. Consumers’ digital footprints, from their online purchases and product reviews on brands’ sites to posts on social networks, have generated an unprecedented amount of data.
The onslaught of information holds the potential to shed new light on shoppers’ wants and needs, yet the retail industry is largely short on the expertise to analyze – and monetize – the reams of newly generated data.
That’s where executives such as Lal come in. Lal, who previously served as senior vice president and global head of analytics at Visa, will focus on converging the physical shopping experience with the digital world. He’ll hire a team primarily of engineers and analysts, Women’s Wear Daily reported.
Today, Westfield can capture data from shoppers at its 7,500 retailers with technology such as Wi-Fi, cameras and beacons that offer a window into shopper behavior, according to WWD. The mall owner expects to launch more innovations informed by data-driven consumer insight, that will enhance the physical and brick-and-mortar shopping experience.