Jason Nathan grew up in Inner North London, very much attached to his computer. From a young age, he wanted to develop computer games, which is where his interest in computer science and technology started.

At university, Nathan studied philosophy. “While we often recruit CompSci or Maths undergrads or postgrads, we sometimes select individuals who may have studied something different and built their knowledge in computer science or data in their spare time—I am definitely one of the latter.”

Nathan has worked for dunnhumby for close to 13 and a half years, in various roles and across different areas of the global business. Currently, Nathan’s position as global capability managing director of data puts him in charge of driving innovation, deployment, and value creation across all 30 plus markets that the company currently operate in.”

dunnhumby can develop and personalise shopping experiences in ways that benefit shoppers and retailers alike. As technology continues to evolve, shopping experiences are expected to continually develop as well. “With the shopping experience becoming increasingly integrated across the physical and digital worlds, the amount of data generated is being amplified,” explained Nathan.

The company has now expanded into New Zealand. “New Zealand is known for being an innovative, early adopter market, with advanced thinking in the arena of customer data science.

“We decided to create an Australia and New Zealand-focussed team in response to global demand for presence in the local market. We want to partner with local retailers, equipping them with the advanced tools and expertise that allows them to offer personalised grocery experiences to New Zealand consumers.”

Having a rounded understanding of one’s customers allows retailers to cater to specific needs. “Transactional anonymised data about what people buy is valuable for a lot of other businesses. There are many opportunities to on-sell this data to create new revenue streams via advertising, market research, and business intelligence.

“In 2019, we’ll likely see a lot more of this from not just retailers, but other industries as well.” The business places emphasis on ensuring that the data it collects is used ethically. Nathan hopes to help inform and drive decisions as technology, and digital lifestyles continue to evolve.

Nathan encourages retailers to look at loyalty. The three ways in which he believes loyalty can be encouraged are offering points, currency and cost savings; rewards that save customers time, and rewards that bring joy to a customer.

For instance, rewarding a consumer with an offer on a product that they were already planning on purchasing can be a great way to both encourage loyalty, and bring about a personal sense of joy to a customer.

The amount of data being generated by an increasingly digital society means that analysing and processing data is becoming harder and harder for retailers to handle. “Machine learning and organising different data sources and building predictive models is now achievable and something that only a few years ago would have taken teams of analysts months to do.”

It is clear that as customer trends, technological trends, and industry trends develop, so too must the ability to be able to analyse and incorporate data into consumer shopping experiences.