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My First 90 Days at Theatro

The Origin Story Behind Theatro’s New Data Analytics Suite

With 20+ year’s in retail, 15 of it in consulting and 10 of that in analytics, I’ve been everywhere from working the sales floor to the buying offices of Neiman Marcus, to Strategy and Ops work at Deloitte, to the business side of retail analytics at SAS. From what I’ve seen everyone’s got the same sorts of tools & data sets trying to solve for the same problems: ordering the right sizes, more accurate forecasts, price optimization, supply chain efficiencies, etc… Everyone knows the same 3 or 4 levers that impact margin, and it’s been analyzed to death. Enter, Data Analytics Suite.

I took the position of Senior Director of Customer Analytics at Theatro last fall because I wanted to explore a new frontier in data analytics. The metrics captured behind Theatro’s voice-controlled mobile platform are entirely new to retail, and the opportunity to be a pioneer in a net new field was one that I simply couldn’t refuse.

Theatro’s Internet of Things (IoT) Communicator is an amazing and effective data collector that has offered me a new mountain to scale—a treasure trove of data to be explored. My job over the last 90-days has been to sift through it all, extrapolate a story behind the numbers and identify not only what the key levers are, but what the ultimate goals and benchmarks should be.

I dove into the data, starting with the low-hanging fruit: measuring how many people use Theatro, how they use it, their responsiveness and adoption rates. We developed countless business hypotheses and tested them against the data; finding insightful nuggets along the way. We started to see that Theatro could offer retailers the answer to the ideal customer experience.

The real revelation began when we started to contextualize the data and think about it as store behavior rather than usage.  We tracked and measured employee communication, movement and behavior patterns and found that they were interwoven into a larger story about store performance. Are the managers spending enough time on the floor? Are cashier backups responsive? Which employees are hubs of critical information that drive success?

All of these insights built Theatro’s new Data Analytics Suite, which I am extremely proud of.  It’s an automated platform designed to sense, analyze and act on the employee performance data. Retailers are able to establish new benchmarks that can be used to drive operational improvements across the organization, increasing store performance and driving revenue gains.

The analytics will continue to evolve as we learn more about this exciting space, but a sample of our categories include:

Influencers for Data Analytics Suite

Quickly and accurately identify the key influencers, the “go-to people” in each store, thereby providing store leadership with great insights into which team members are key to a store’s success.

New Hire Assimilation

Capture detailed data about new-hire interactions with other store team members to predict their assimilation into the store social network. New hires are most at risk if they fail to successfully integrate and the Theatro analytics app provides store leadership early insight to improve employee retention

Performance Profiles

Employee performance profiles created based on type and frequency of their communication and interaction with their team members can be valuable to identify leaders, those who are active and those who are a drag on store performance. Recognize and reward top performers while offering corrective actions to those struggling in order to boost productivity and improve employee satisfaction

Manager Effectiveness with Data Analytics Suite

Validate which managers provide daily strategic direction and how present they are on the sales floor. Identify your success formula and replicate across other stores increasing store performance and driving revenue gains.

 Employee Responsiveness

Employee profiles based on type and frequency of their communication. Identify leaders, active employees, or inactive employees. Recognize and reward top performers while offering corrective actions to those struggling, boosting productivity and employee satisfaction

 Employee Churn

Analyze employee churn frequency and patterns to identify retention problems and implement corrective measures to reduce employee turnover. Insightful data on employee loss coupled with Theatro’s retention-oriented apps help retailers retain their most valuable asset…their employees.

The real beauty of this is that they’re all new insights. We look forward to helping customers understand and transform them into action. Imagine correlating sales trends with employee activity for a real-time understanding of sales influencers and key success trends that you can strategically scale!  The impact on workforce management alone would be priceless. This is how Theatro continues to be a disruptive force in retail by bringing incredible innovation for the millions of forgotten hourly workers who are on the front-line of today’s retail battle for customers.

It’s been a dizzying, and wildly rewarding, first 90 days. I can’t wait to take this offering in new and exciting places.

About the Author:

Chris Arnold is the Senior Director of Customer Analytics. With 20+ year’s in retail, 15 of it in consulting and 10 of that in analytics he’s been everywhere from working the sales floor while studying Economics at Vanderbilt to the buying offices of Neiman Marcus, to Strategy and Ops work at Deloitte, to focusing on the business side of retail analytics at SAS. Chris holds a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University.