IRI: Uniquely Leveraging Data, Analytics and Technology to Deliver Retail Growth

CIO VendorAsh Patel, CIO
Disruptors in the industry—this portrays IRI’s philosophy of innovation, where the front-runners invent new ways for CPG retailers to drive growth. For Ash Patel, CIO at IRI, his personal philosophy of continuous constructive dissatisfaction underlies the innovation roadmap of solutions that leverage IRI’s proprietary data, analytic and technology assets to drive differentiation and growth. These efforts are supported by the Company’s ISO-Certified Analytics Centre of Excellence for CPG and Retail where over 200 statisticians and mathematicians armed with numerous patents and methodologies, leverage three decades of the company’s retail industry knowledge to create new capabilities that are changing the retail industry’s paradigms.

Discussing the myriad of legacy technologies, available from dozens of vendors and adopted by retailers over the past decade, that are not delivering the necessary ROI, Patel believes three key ingredients are required for success—rich integrated datasets, prescriptive analytics, which pinpoint business opportunities, and robust technology that deliver insights via interactive visualization. IRI’s solutions based on these key ingredients help retailers deepen their understanding of consumer behavior while optimizing business processes such as assortment, pricing, promotion, shopper marketing, supply chain and vendor collaboration.

IRI gathers data across the entire U.S. tracking over 1.3 trillion dollars worth of annual sales data for the retail CPG industry alone. IRI’s ocean of big data also integrates household level purchase behavior, online, social and television exposure, consumer sentiment, frequent shopper data, unemployment, weather, gas prices and many more datasets. “Each of these individual data sets is large and complex and integrating them together further compounds information overload. That makes our prescriptive analytics critical as a means of distilling a prioritized set of specific recommendations that retailers can action,” explains Patel.
In addition to datasets and analytics, IRI’s proprietary technology, called IRI Liquid Data™, provides sophisticated analyses for the expert user and yet is simple enough for the casual user as well. “Retailers and manufacturers traditionally looked at their stores category by category in a summarized and aggregated way. With Liquid Data, we have enabled the power of analyzing products and insights across the entire store,” says Patel. “For instance, if a new flavor of consumer interest is emerging, then the retailer can seamlessly analyze the trend for this flavor across the store in different categories such as yogurt, beverages, confectionaries or any other category.”

We believe in democratization of data across the entire enterprise so that people can take action to grow their business

For a large client whose products are sold in hundreds of thousands of stores across U.S., the challenge lied in optimizing their product assortment across the stores while also optimizing the shelf space in each of these stores to maximize profit. “IRI’s Assortment Optimization solution automatically ran data gathered from hundreds of different data sources through its prescriptive analytics algorithms to drive specific recommendations,” says Patel. The result was a several percent increase in sales, which is a substantial ROI from the recommendations of the tool.

“We at IRI believe in democratization of data across the entire enterprise so that anyone from the deepest domain expert to the most senior level executive to the most junior analyst can derive benefit from complex analytics and data insights in a simplified way,” states Patel. “That is how people take action to grow their business.”


Chicago, IL

Ash Patel, CIO

Providing market and shopper information with predictive analysis to ignite retail growth.