Interview to Carles Torrecilla, Professor and Dpt. Director of Marketing Management at ESADE

This month we have interviewed the ESADE Professor Carles Torrecilla, “one of the most influential and important voices in the marketing sector of this country”. In this interview, Torecilla is telling us the value of data and the knowledges brought by Big Data in the retail sector. This celebration of Big Data as added values in retail comes in the right moment when TC Group Solutions is launching the first Big Data Report about the Consumers Behaviors in 2015.

In the ESADE‘s blog they cite you as “one of the most influential and important voices in the marketing sector of this country”, can you present yourself?

As professor I graduated myself in marketing and market investigator, but in ESADE teachers’ jobs are the knowledges they explain and what they teach are the knowledges derived from their work. On the other hand I have a very different experience more practical then theoretical, as investors and entrepreneur in several retail companies or software organizations and tourism ones as well as I took part in different companies assemblies that open up my view within the entrepreneurial world.

Recently, you have collaborated with TC Group Solutions in order to elaborate the Big Data Report about the Consumer Behavior in 2015. Can you present this new report, to who is directed to and which was the role of TC Group?

This Report represent the truth regarding the Spanish commercial streets e the behavior of consumers as a whole according to different sector such as the fashion one in order to make us aware of the possibilities that has each business on its own.
The lunch is programmed by the 7th of July, towards an enormous work with the data collected in 2015 and it’s going to be valuable for some years more because our behaviors are changing but at a slow pace. This first Report is going to be the starting point to create series and series of report and create a sort of big picture of the retail industry during the years.
TC Group has been working for years on this project, collecting information, methodologies and systems that can help retail expansion manager, the sales forecasters and also the real estate managing authority in knowing the real commercial potential of each property for the whole retail sector.

Is Big Data the ‘plan B’ for every retailer?

Right now it is, but in short time is going to be the A plan. In a so complex world we cannot pretend to easily simplify it because it would be a ridiculous and useless theoretical exercise. The old directors yet believe they have in their minds all the knowledges they need to logically drive their businesses. Other have doubts therefore, they believe it would be better to verify their intuitions and they use the data coming from the B plan, nevertheless the best directors bases their decision on clear data who does not come in an intricate whole with their interconnected information.

In the article about the report you also talk about diviners and the enchanters who trust esoteric theories, and you also insist on what happens if people require to empiric methods and if they take decision based on objective data. What kind of retailers today still trusts dowsers?

The ones that did not professionalized themselves and that did not undergo the generational change. Moreover, there are also some retailers which perceive the crisis as something external and not an opportunity to renovate. They are the same that do not have plans for their employees’ careers and any formation plan; they are enterprises which dream about going back to the XX century. Usually they are also businesses which manage dirty money and evade taxation due to the fact that their results are not subject to different analysis than fake investigations. When there is a lack of professionality and data: diviners.

How do you believe Big Data is going to evolve in the retail sector?

The retailer who demonstrates to be able to manage data are going to be integrated in the valuable ones, that can bring competences and abilities, as a consequence they are going to drive the industry 4.0, the one of the Smart Cities and the Internet of Things, etc. The ones that remain aside, will disappear with scandal or in silence but everyone will look at them with nostalgia and pain, as something that belong to the past.

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