Intelligent CXO Issue 03 | Page 44



Can you tell me a bit more about IRI and how the company started ?
IRI would be considered one of the original Big Data companies , even before Big Data had a name . It started in 1979 from the lens of , how do you disrupt the Consumer Packaged Goods ( CPG ) industry and how they track their performance and how they better understand their customers , their retailers , their markets , using Big Data collected from the actual retailers , in order to create a view of performance for all the CPG manufacturers in the marketplace .
For the prior 50 years , it was done by sending people into stores and literally counting boxes and shelves and things like that , which is called audit . IRI really revolutionised the space by taking a Big Data analytics and technology approach to that in the early 80s and then continuing to enhance and innovate for decades , to the point now where IRI is viewed as three things – a data company , a technology company and a data science or analytics company , put together in order to deliver those services to the CPG in the retail industry .
How has the company grown since it started and how have you helped to ensure growth ?
A big part of our core differentiation is leveraging technology . With the data sets having become so enormous between the sales in the various stores , online , social , advertising , television advertising , all sorts of other data sets – it ’ s not a lake of data , it ’ s an ocean .
The most effective way to help our clients find their growth opportunities and their issues is to leverage technology , AI , Machine Learning and analytics to help surface those opportunities , because doing it the traditional way of an expert and our client analysing a report or running an ad hoc query just no longer scales . It ’ s just ineffective compared to the scale of the data and so we ’ ve continued to grow and manage to innovate in terms of just how effective our technology and our analytics , our AI / ML is in terms of helping clients find those opportunities .
What ’ s the business ’ s approach to management ?
Our business approach to management is embedded in our tagline . It ’ s called growth delivered and so we orientate ourselves
Ash Patel , Chief Information Officer at IRI
“ IRI would be considered one of the original Big Data companies , even before Big Data had a name .”
Global company , IRI , was analysing Big Data even before Big Data had a name . It helps Consumer Packaged Goods , retail , over-the-counter healthcare and media companies grow their business by combing purchase , media , social , causal and loyalty data with analytics to uncover new consumer insights .
Ash Patel , Chief Information Officer at IRI , which has 4,000 employees , explains how the company has grown and how it helped to ensure a steady supply of food was provided by retailers during the heightened demand of the pandemic .


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