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Unlocking AI Success for Retail: Start Small, Learn Fast

Learn how to get moving with your AI transformation.

Embarking on the transformative journey of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into your business can seem like a colossal task. However, the path to success often begins with taking measured, deliberate steps. Contrary to conventional wisdom, initiating this journey without a grand AI strategy can prove beneficial. Success in AI transformation is often messy, imperfect, and iterative, requiring organizational learning before tangible business impacts can be realized.

One of the initial challenges in AI transformation is the common misconception about data quality. Whether a business is a behemoth like Google, Amazon, or Walmart or a smaller enterprise, dissatisfaction with data quality persists. CEOs tend to overestimate data quality, while CIOs and business leaders may underestimate the value of their existing data. It is crucial to recognize that progress in AI cannot be made without attempting to bridge the gap between perception and reality regarding data quality.

To begin the journey, identify a small list of low-effort, high-impact business opportunities. Engage with middle-management leaders across the organization to understand the routine tasks that consume excessive time and effort, hindering core business activities. AI is not a tool for job replacement but a means of automating tasks and enhancing human capabilities. Organizations can set the stage for learning about their data and identifying necessary skills and solutions by focusing on a concise list of potential task improvement or replacement opportunities.

The key at this stage is to take small steps forward, prioritizing projects that generate new knowledge and internal momentum. Even in more developed organizations, utilizing the low-hanging fruit proves that an approach works and keeps all critical stakeholders engaged and supportive. Celebrate each decision milestone, as each step contributes to progressive learning.

To learn more, download: AI Playbook for Retail, by Dr. Mark Chrystal

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“We are in a very different era in respect to the speed in which retail moves, and we must have the ability to have the data and intelligence to make quicker decisions for the merchandising team. We partnered to bring in their expertise, and because they move at the speed our business needs.”

Venkat Gopalan
| Chief Digital Officer, Belcorp.