This blog has served me well and has given me an opportunity to share my thoughts and views on a vast array of  retail, retail technology, and personal topics. But now it’s time to move forward…in a different direction. Over recent years I have re-focused my business and expertise in the area of Data Transformation for retailers. And so, I want my blog to re-focus on this too.

The costs and complexity of Data Migration or Data Integration are not widely discussed or understood in the retail industry. Retail systems are not getting simpler, and most retailers are implementing or managing a vast array of systems, hoping to gain that extra edge; from systems such as Price Optimization to PLM, Planning, BI, Warehouse Management, and others. Retailers are connecting with their customers and selling through more channels (store, web, mobile, etc).  And retailers must integrate with 3rd party solutions such as 3PL, EDI, Financials, Human Resource, etc. For most Retail IT organizations, data integration is a frequent and on-going headache that keeps their best people away from value-producing projects. My blog will explore how retailers of all size can better deal with the ugly issue of data transformation.

We will provide some tips and suggestions, as well as explore new tools and new ways of managing all of the challenges retailers face with data integration. This will be useful to all retail system resources whether you are a user, IT, independent consultant, software company, or systems integrator. Your input will help shape the topics, and bring everyone’s experience and knowledge to this shared space.

Here are a few questions and planned topics:

· How can you improve the data conversion process when implementing a new system?

· What is your overall data integration strategy? How can it be improved?

· Is any of your data shared across multiple systems/databases? Can things be more centralized?

· What tools can facilitate/standardize your data integration process?

· What is the value in MDM (Master Data Management) solutions?

What would you add to this list? Are there any other topics that you would like to see discussed here? Please feel free to add your comments and let’s start the conversation.