IRI launches new solutions to democratise decision-making for FMCG retailers and brands

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IRI Launches New Solutions to Democratise Decision-Making

IRI – a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights for FMCG retailers and manufacturers – announces the launch of new solutions to automate the process of identifying insights, removing the need for complex data mining. The new tools enable augmented decision-making, whereby the technology analyses vast amounts of data and makes suggestions on the best course of action. These tools make insights more quickly and simply available to enable decision-making.

To be competitive, organisations need to act more quickly to meet consumer’s needs. To do this they need practical ways to leverage technology to more efficiently and effectively deliver actionable insights to an increasingly wide range of users across their business.

IRI has invested more than $1 billion in technology over the last few years to develop solutions that will enable this. They are now launching two new tools which make it possible to “push” insights, alerts and recommendations to any individual in a business via text, email or in-app notification.

– Opportunity Finder: This takes the traditional concept of analysing data to find the problem, and then analysing some more to find the solution and turns it on its head. Opportunity Finder alerts the user to the problem and suggests the solution at the same time. This makes it possible to find and prioritise opportunities based on the potential to increase sales volume.

– AIRIA (Artificial Intelligence Reporting and Insights Assistant): Brings the concept of conversational business intelligence to day-to-day analyses and automated insights. AIRIA responds to natural language questions, whether spoken or typed. Far more than just a querying tool, AIRIA engages with users in a contextual manner, allowing for data exploration which is as simple as asking an expert. Through best-in-class visualisations leveraging IRI’s Unify Business Intelligence Reporting Platform, AIRIA will bring next-level insight to any user from the C-suite to shop floor as long as they have access to a PC, tablet or mobile device. Initially available in English, it will soon be available in several languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish (including European, Latin American and Canadian variants)

A key benefit for both tools is speed. AIRIA can deliver back the results of complex queries within seconds and Opportunity Finder reduces the cycle time of analyses churning through terabytes of data from a few days down to a matter of hours.

Roberto Bandera, Senior Vice President Solutions and Innovation International at IRI said “The sheer quantity of data available and the requirement for quicker analysis mean that insights teams are coming under unbearable pressure. These new solutions will help them by unlocking the data in their organisations. This will change the way users access insights and analytics. By using traditional descriptive techniques and advanced AI, organisations can move from a purely “pull” to increasingly “push” approaches which democratises insights and makes it easier for non-technical staff to make decisions.”

The new tools reveal insights and quantify the economic value of market opportunities. AIRIA visualisations and Opportunity Finder analyses results can answer retailer and manufacturer questions such as: Is my pricing aligned to share goals? How is my assortment compared to the rest of market? Am I converting shoppers and capturing share of wallet? Are my items promoting more or less effectively compared to prior periods?

By freeing up time and resources through fully automated, repeatable and highly configurable technology solutions, the new tools make it possible to increase productivity within the business and, crucially to become more responsive to consumer’s needs.


For more product information, see https://www.iriworldwide.com/en-GB.

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U.S. Business News Award FAQ

How long has U.S. Business News been in circulation for?

U.S. Business News has been running for almost four years and in this time has expanded into a go-to source for the news with which it is synonymous for. With a readership of over 175,000 people, the magazine has cemented itself as one of the leading outlets for the dealmakers, game changers and decision makers in the US business market. U.S. Business News is one of the many publications by AI Global Media, a UK based publisher which has published over 200 worldwide publications to its name since 2010.

Where did the nomination come from?

In the interest of maintaining high response rates, we do not ask nominees to reveal their personal identity. As mentioned in the methodology, a large portion of the nominations are driven directly by us. We also encourage votes via our website and send targeted campaigns to relevant industry contacts, encouraging self and third party nominations. The main ethos of our awards system is that your ability to succeed is not linked to the number of votes received, with the most pertinent belief being that all awards will be received purely on merit. As a means of identifying spam votes and countering cyber-threats, we are constantly monitoring the site for unusual behaviour.

What happens if I agree to be on the shortlist?

As we look to keep maximum focus on relevant candidates, we ask all nominees to accept their position on the shortlist. This also gives people complete control in their decision on whether they would like to move forward with the award. There is no cost for you to be added onto the shortlist or for any of our winners. Nominees who accept will then proceed to our rigorous internal vetting procedure. They are given an opportunity to present their own data which gets considered alongside the information collated by our research team. It can take up to 8 weeks for research to be completed.

Who makes the final decision?

We employ an entirely impartial panel of 5 individuals to conduct all of the research to our high standards. At the helm of the panel we have a veteran academic leader with international academic and training experience. They are well versed in research, fact-checking and mediation. We believe this method is the most efficient in determining which individuals and companies are most deserving in winning an award and has brought us much success and commendation throughout its use. Our continued use of this panel plays a key part in enforcing U.S. Business News’s stance that winners are not determined by popularity of votes, but by their contributions to the sector.

Is there a winner’s ceremony/award dinner and if so, when does it take place?

We do not focus our efforts on a celebratory event. Despite being an enjoyable occasion, it doesn’t support our group’s philosophy of cost-effective marketing. As well as the lack of cost efficiency, U.S. Business News is an establishment which runs awards worldwide and we believe it would be logistically difficult for some of our winners to attend an awards ceremony. We follow the belief that any of the optional costs involved with the award would be more beneficial in a year’s worth of online marketing for a winner, rather than spending it all on a ceremonial evening. All of our press announcements are made digitally, online and across our network to enforce our position as digital publishers. We aim to arm you with the tools (both digital and physical) to generate real-world value.

What happens if I am deemed successful?

There is a short press embargo in place where we ask you not to make the news public, giving us the chance to prepare the different means of coverage we offer for companies. This means that during this period the program manager will liaise with you to agree on the most appropriate coverage for you. Our main feature takes the form of a digital celebratory magazine, but we also offer physical trophies, wall mounted and digital certificates, web-based advertisements and generic press releases which are bespoke to you or your company. This variety of options are aimed to make the awards tailor made to each individual firm, not matter which one you decide to go for.

Are there any costs involved?

As previously mentioned there are no compulsory costs in accepting a nomination or winning an award with U.S. Business News. We do offer a variety of paid additional benefits for our winners, but these are completely optional and merely supplementary to your award rather than essential. To demonstrate our commitment to no mandatory fees, all our winners are offered a free of charge promotional package. Our company policy will always remain: regardless of budget, our clients should always be able to garner the full value of the award and our seal of approval. We offer a variety of promotional opportunities to our winners. as we have an extensive network and we know, more than anyone, the wider business benefits from promoting industry awards.

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Trump is wrong on Bitcoin and is placing himself on the wrong side of history

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U.S. President Trump is wrong and is placing himself on the wrong side of history on Bitcoin – but cryptocurrencies should be regulated, says the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations.

Nigel Green, the founder and CEO of deVere Group, is speaking out after Donald Trump took to Twitter to say: “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he added.

The President’s tweets follow last month’s announcement by Facebook that it is to launch its own new digital currency to be called Libra. It is designed to be a low-volatility currency that will let its users buy things or send money to people with very low fees. 

It will be backed by reserves managed by an independent organisation, called the Libra Association, made up of several leading tech firms and non-profits that give the token real-world value.

Nigel Green affirms: “President Trump is wrong and is placing himself on the wrong side of history on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“The blistering pace of the digitalisation of economies and our lives underscores that there will be a growing demand for digital, global, borderless money.

“Indeed, it is now almost universally regarded as the future of money.  

“This is why most major financial institutions globally already have or are preparing to establish crypto desks. It is why more and more retail and institutional investors are piling into the market. And it is why tech giants, like Facebook, are getting involved. And you can bet that where Facebook follows, other tech companies will do the same.

“When everything from voting to music to books is already digital, dismissing digital currencies in a digital era is, frankly, bizarre and looks depressingly archaic.

“Does the President seriously think that traditional, fiat currencies are the way forward?”

Mr Green continues: “However, I agree with Mr Trump that Facebook’s new Libra project should be scrutinised.

“But, being the social media monolith that it is, it is surely expecting this level of scrutiny.  I would suggest that it is prepared for it, has the resources for it, and will welcome it, as it will make its cryptocurrency stronger.”

He goes on to add: “The wider point here is regulation. Cryptocurrencies are already becoming mainstream. As such they should adhere to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. 

“Regulation is necessary as it will provide further protection for the growing number of people using cryptocurrencies, the less likely it will be that criminals will use these digital payment methods, the less potential risk there will be for the disruption of global financial stability, and the more potential opportunities there will be for higher economic growth and activity in those countries which introduce it.

“And it is surely on its way, judging by the activities of regulators around the world.”

The deVere Group CEO concludes: “Standing on the sidelines, or worse looking backwards, on the issue of cryptocurrencies – which are redefining and reshaping the financial system – is a baffling approach for the leader of the world’s largest economy to take.”

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Sword GRC signs new partnership in Brazil with Procurement Garage

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Sword GRC selects Procurement Garage as expansion partner in Latin America and Mexico, extending risk management expertise and practice across Supply Chain & Logistics projects in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil – Sword GRC, a leading supplier of risk, compliance and governance solutions, has announced a new partnership agreement with Procurement Garage (PG), a consultancy firm in Brazil. PG, a specialist in e-Procurement and Sourcing technologies covering supply chain, logistics, technology implementation and industry processes, partnered with Sword GRC for its proven credentials in Risk Management.

PG, which has offices across Latin American, has been instrumental in helping clients in many sectors to move to more strategic and active supply chain and logistics management, contributing directly to its customers’ results, and enabling organizations to adopt industry best practice in processes, people, technology and management. Sword GRC’s Active Risk Manager (ARM) provides a robust platform to enable organizations to take a risk-based approach across the entire operation, with individual risk registers rolling up and combining to provide the Board and senior management with a Single View of Risk on which to base business decisions.

Leonardo Alexander, CEO at PG, said: “Risk is becoming a valuable part of the decision-making process to support business performance and a risk department is only as good as its system. Whatever the industry, organizations need to ensure the safe execution and management of projects, operations and business activities. PG is confident that Sword GRC’s ARM is a robust, secure and easy to use system. Together PG and Sword GRC can help Brazilian companies take all the steps to comply with rules, regulations and industry best practices.

“Many industries are implementing technology to assist with process automation and improve their productivity, visibility, accountability and cost efficiency throughout the entire supply chain. PG is the partner to drive and support digital transformation in Brazil and Latin America”, Alexander concluded.

Charles Longridge, Director of Global Partnerships at Sword GRC commented; “Sword GRC is committed to providing the very best in enterprise risk management solutions to our customers internationally. As part of this strategy we continue to expand our network of partners to provide local expertise and support to customers across the globe. Procurement Garage is a key partner for us in Brazil and will provide the ideal base for our expansion across Latin America.”

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The US must admit defeat to China in the trade war to save the global economy

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The petro-yuan is set to become the oil currency of the globe within the next decade and a half, according to new research from international oil economist Dr Mamdouh G. Salameh, Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe.

The intensifying trade war has been casting dark clouds over the global economy, but it is clear that China is winning the battle, with President Trump’s underestimation of China only fuelling the rivalry further. While an escalating trade war could severely impact global oil demand on both sides, its negative effect on China’s economy would be far less than on the US.

China’s economy, with an estimated GDP of $27.5 trillion in 2019 based on purchasing power parity (PPP) is 28% larger than the United States’ and with China’s economy being far more integrated in the global trade system than America’s, the US will suffer much more than China from the ongoing conflict, says Dr Salameh.
In addition, the US should be acutely aware that China has potentially very powerful weapons on hand, capable of imposing real harm on the US economy and the dollar.

As Dr Salameh says,
“China has hinted that if the trade war escalates further, it will resort to the nuclear options, namely, offloading some $1.3 trillion dollar of US Treasury bills it currently holds and imposing an embargo on the supply of rare earth metals to the US, indicating that China will not back down no matter how long the trade war takes”

The US should stop the trade war against China if it does not want the petro-yuan to destabilise the petrodollar further, and in turn, the entire US financial system. Ultimately though, if an agreement is not met, there will be no winners in this race, as the global economy as a whole will face rapid decline.

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Flexible working experts reflect on the last 25 years and anticipate APAC region to overtake EMEA and Americas regions by 2021

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• Flexible workspace pioneers Office Freedom introduced a new concept when searching for office space in 1993
• Research shows the number of coworking spaces worldwide will increase by 42% by 2022
• Office Freedom and GCUC are anticipating coworking spaces in the APAC region to overtake EMEA and Americas regions by 2021

Over the last 25 years we’ve seen a vast amount of changes to the field of work such as the invention of Wi-Fi in ’98, the Dot-Com crash in ’00, the 07/08 financial crisis and in 2016 the United Kingdom’s decision to vote ‘leave’ following a referendum in a move that could significantly shake up the country’s flexible workspace market.

While serviced offices first appeared in the ’80s introducing more flexible working provisions, the concept of the ‘true’ flexible workspace has only become a reality over the last decade beginning with the UK’s first true coworking space in 2005 called “The Hub” in Islington.

Supported by flexible working advances in the nineties, Office Freedom were the first brokers of flexible office space, founded in 1993 under their former name ‘SOS Search Office Space’. Discussing the evolution of flexible workspace, founder and CEO Richard Smith said, “Today’s flexible workspace provides a habitat that supports staff wellness, staff welfare and helping companies become happy and productive places of work. As a result, the flexible workspace industry has attracted large corporations, enterprise companies, and fintech. Today’s flexible workspace can make you feel like a million dollars working in a 5-star hotel and I know this from personal experience.”

Described as the ‘coworking revolution’ in 2006, the number of flexible office spaces approximately doubled each year for the next seven years with 2012 welcoming more than two thousand flexible office spaces worldwide alone. Additionally, by the end of 2017, approximately 1.2 million people worldwide would have worked in a coworking space, and 2017 also saw the arrival of the first UK coworking space specifically aimed at women in London.

Discussing the business landscape, Chris Mapp, the Commercial Director of Citibase believes recent technological advancements and flexible working demands have changed how companies approach work.

“Technology is so instrumental to the running of businesses these days,” says Mapp. “Friendly and helpful staff are however still at the heart of our centres, but the profile of businesses has also changed over 25 years. Larger corporate companies are now being drawn to flexible space and away from long term, inflexible lease agreements. It’s all part of the drive for companies to remain agile and adaptable whilst nailing down overheads in what remains an uncertain economic environment.”

Looking forward, Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) is predicting coworking spaces to grow even further with the Asia Pacific region to account for 38% of global coworking spaces by overtaking the US and EMEA regions in 2022. 1 Additionally, experts are anticipating a dramatic 42% increase in the number of co-working spaces by 2022. 2

As Richard Smith of Office Freedom notes, “The market continues to evolve and thrive. By 2030 up to 30% of office space occupied by the corporate sector is expected to be flexible workspace. At the moment well under 10% of the office real estate market is flex. As in any industry, in a cyclical world, there will inevitably be bumps in the road but relatively speaking it’s still very early days for the industry.”

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