A clearer view of your data – an Interview with Kevin Carrick

As the number of ways to buy has evolved, many retailers are plagued with data disparities caused by an evolution of several IT systems.

Increasingly, retailers are finding it impossible to unify data across systems such as e-commerce platforms, customer relationship management, warehouse management, finance, product management, resource planning and EPOS – to name but a few.

This makes it difficult to easily extract and present the necessary data required for relevant customer interaction operational reporting.

In developing ClarityOmnivue, Data Clarity – based in Derby – has used its data management and IT expertise to create an innovative product which surfaces and presents combined data.

Kevin Carrick, CEO of Data Clarity, with Pana Lepeniotis, co-founder

Kevin Carrick, CEO of Data Clarity with Pana Lepeniotis, co-founder.

The cloud-based solution gives retailers an interface that provides them with a 360-degree view of a customer’s engagement and buying behaviour. ClarityOmnivue takes all the sources of data and joins them all together. This tells the client exactly who its customers are because they are in the one place. It also shows every KPI (key performance indicator), including footfall and what’s selling and what’s not selling in near real time.

It’s a highly useful tool for retailers, explains Kevin Carrick, the firm’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “If a customer buys a product online, they’re in the online system. If, later, they buy in store, they go into a second system. ClarityOmnivue takes all the data and creates a unified customer profile.”

British clothing label Paul Smith were first to adopt the new product and ClarityOmnivue has already been shortlisted for three top industry accolades – including the retailing technology of the year at this year’s National Technology Awards.

Kevin says: “A company may have five million email records that actually relates to half-a-million true customers as people use more than one email address. ClarityOmnivue takes the data sources and looks at what marries them together, such as a person’s address or telephone number. By doing that detective work, we unify all the data relating to one customer.”

The amount of data processed by ClarityOmnivue is staggering. “We process around 1.5 billion records a month and the capacity to process much more,” says Chief Data and Development Officer, Pana Lepeniotis, who co-founded Data Clarity with Kevin in 2011. “That includes all the stock movements, the production, the costings, the tariffs – absolutely everything.”

With innovation, the success of a new product is often determined by how well it solves a real-world problem.

ClarityOmnivue does exactly that. Where retailers have a warehouse and a warehouse management system. In store, the stock is not in the warehouse management system. That’s a problem that ClarityOmnivue solves. If a customer loves a pair of shoes but the store hasn’t got them in their size, the sales person can go onto the ClarityOmnivue system and tell the customer ‘we can get you a size 9 in for you tomorrow, or have it sent to you’. Without that system, it can be a lost sale which equates to lost revenue in a challenging retail environment.

A person’s purchase history is among the 400 “insights” stored by the cloud-based software, thus creating a “360-degree view” of the customer. The ClarityOmnivue system can tell you what colour suits the customer likes, what size they are and what size shoe they are from their purchase history data.

From that information, the retailer can tailor its marketing methods so that individual customers receive offers specifically for them.

Kevin says: “Providing they have the store’s app and have agreed to be contacted, the store will be able to see, through GPS technology, when you’re within 500 metres of the store. The store manager can then send that person a message via the app that says, ‘Hi Kevin, we haven’t seen you for a while – come in today and we’ll give you 10% off something you like for example a tie’. The store will know what kind of products the customer is interested in because of the data previously collected and the ability to view their recent purchases across all channels, that’s omnichannel.

“Equally, the message might say ‘Happy birthday Kevin – come in today and we’ll give you 20% off’.

“The customer will also be able to use the app to scan items to save to their Wishlist or to check for store stock, put in their preferences, keep electronic receipts and receive loyalty discounts.”

The tool is a “game changer” for marketeers, says Kevin. “It’s about relevancy. To take myself as an example, I want to receive offers that are relevant to me. I don’t want to receive promotions that give me 10% off something I’d never buy.”

Paul Smith were ClarityOmnivue’s first client and they are now working on plans for other interested parties including a major high street retail group amongst other retailers. They had a large presence at Olympia in London for the Retail Business Technology Expo where over 50,000 people attended.

Data Clarity is not only attracting interest from businesses in the retail and leisure space but also venture capitalists looking to invest.

The Company has bold growth plans to reach £20m turnover over the next five years. Revenues over the last 2 years have grown 6-fold.

As the numbers soar, so will Data Clarity’s headcount. In 2015, there were five staff and now they employ 19 with the expectation to add a further 10 staff over the next two years. Their people strategy is to take on more apprentices as part of the recruitment drive as they believe strongly in developing the local talent.”

Data Clarity have a solution to an omni-channel industry challenge. With the success delivered so far to date, they are ones to watch.

This article was written by Paul Whyatt from the Derby Telegraph.

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