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Guy Cuthbert <>

For 2023 - Konrad Maliszewski <>

Idea for consideration, as proposed by AFB:

Keeping Key-Workers

The design strategy of “gamification” uses familiar features of videogames like high scores, personal bests or daily streaks to improve incentives and enjoyment of everyday life. In the retail logistics sector, especially key-worker areas like food retail, there are many data feeds and performance measures available. Some retail sites do provide game-like feedback to staff and customers, but there are many opportunities to make this enjoyable rather than an oppressive obligation. Your client is a leader in retail data science, and you’ll have an opportunity to work with real data from real stores to see how key-worker’s lives might be improved.

Other topics for discussion in 2023:

The projects would be carried out with the support from the Atheon’s product team and would be related to our core offering, SKUtrak. SKUtrak is the UK’s leading grocery supply chain analytics platform with over 1,700 supermarket suppliers using a selection of SaaS tools on a freemium business model. Over 130 premium (paying) customers include 37 of the world’s top 50 global CPGs.

1. Evaluating the impact of data availability

There is a growing body of evidence and agreement both in the academic and practitioners discourse that data is absolutely essential for effective decision making in the 21st century. In the industry, considerable effort goes into building infrastructures that ingest, clean, store, enhance and present the data. However, the key question remains of how exactly the benefits of the available data are realised by the end user, whether it is an individual or a firm. Through a set of related projects we would like to investigate the impact of increased data availability and access to state-of-the-art analytics tools on various firm and individual performance metrics, including quantitative and qualitative ones.

Retail data availability - All 1,500 of Morrisons suppliers have gained access to their retail data via SKUtrak. However, not all of them are using it, and some are using it to a much greater extent than others. What are the differences between the segments? What difference does the platform use make to firms’ performance?

Increased analytics opportunities - Our premium customers receive access to substantially more granular and nuanced data and an improved suite of analytics tools, including machine learning solutions. What difference does it make to their performance? Quantitatively (use metrics > performance metrics) Qualitatively (use > culture, decision-making practices)

Use patterns and user segmentation - Actual use of our platform varies greatly between individual firms and users. We would like to investigate if distinctive use patterns can be identified with regard to frequency and depth of use over time. How to explain them?

Optimal level of information sharing - Invariably various actors make choices as to which and how much data should be shared between retailers and suppliers (supply chain partners). We would like to investigate how to better understand which and how much data should be shared to achieve the best outcomes for the involved parties.

2. Fostering effective analytics engagements

Having access to clean and trustworthy data is only the first step in the sensemaking process and improved decision-making. There are various ways in which decision makers can be assisted in effective sensemaking. Through a number of projects we would like to explore new and validate the existing approaches to driving effective engagements with analytical tools.

Valuable and effective SKUtrak use - linked to the project above on use patterns but more focused on which actions users take while on SKUtrak deliver value. But also a broader question of what valuable engagements are; how to define and measure them.

Suggesting dashboards - SKUtrak offers a suite of dashboards. We would like to explore computational solutions to identifying the best dashboard to suggest to each user in order to assist them in their exploratory journey.

Gamification in B2B contexts - Gamification has been shown as an effective tool driving user engagement. However, most of the use cases are in hedonistic and voluntary contexts or internal employee engagement contexts. We are interested in what scope there is for a gamification engine in a B2B context, and what an implementation of such a solution might look like.

Visualisations effectiveness - A distinctive feature of our analytical tools are advanced visualisations. They were created by leading industry experts in order to support our clients in effective sensemaking of complex data. However, we would like to test some of our assumptions in a more rigorous way incorporating the latest findings from the visualisation research (e.g. as a laboratory/online experiment).

3. Getting the most of supply chain data

Atheon tools focus on the flow of goods analytics assisting various stakeholders managing complex grocery supply chains. The crux of this matter is effective demand modelling to know where and when to send which product(s). Most of what we do is based on the imperfect supply chain data provided by grocery retailers and their suppliers. We would like to investigate certain aspects of this problem in order to enhance the data at hand.

Improved demand modelling - Most of the retailers show stock cover as an average across all depots without the explicit link between depots and stores. We would like to explore a modelling approach which would calculate stock cover by depot.

Managing demand by better understanding of store characteristics - Each store is characterised by its surrounding catchment area and what it sells. Based on that information we would like to cluster similar stores in order to better understand demand signals for certain products / product categories.

Cloud marketplaces and open data - A leading cloud database provider, Snowflake, recently introduced a new feature of a data marketplace. Every registered company can make data easily available for other people to access. We would like to experiment with making some datasets available to evaluate the scope for such a solution to deliver revenue.