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Dunnhumby’s Unique Contribution To The Analytics Space; CEO Guillaume Bacuvier Explains

Guillaume Bacuvier, CEO, Dunnhumby


Dunnhumby, one of the world’s largest customer science companies, leverages the power of customer data and science to drive sales and margin for its clients. Headquartered in Hammersmith, London, U.K., dunnhumby has over 3000+ employees in offices throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas and has an client-base of companies including Tesco, Monoprix, Raley’s, Whole Foods, Coca-Cola, P&G, and PepsiCo.


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Founded in February 2008, dunnhumby India is the Data Science Hub for dunnhumby with significant expertise in all dunnhumby capabilities and is located in Gurugram, AIM got an exclusive interview with the Global CEO of dunnhumby Guillaume Bacuvier and asked him about how his company has contributed in the growth of analytics and what are the solutions they offer to their clients.

Analytics India Magazine: Talk about Dunnhumby’s journey so far in an analytics dedicated landscape. How is the firm contributing uniquely towards this space?

The journey:

We’ve innovated continuously, finding new and better ways to help retailers and brands delight customers to earn their loyalty, deliver measurable results, and outperform their competition.

How did we do this?

Personalisation Technology: From wide and bulky to personal and ubiquitous

With consumers at risk of being bombarded from multiple directions, dunnhumby works to distil messages that are unique, relevant and useful to the individual consumer. We have used advances in technology to furnish consumers with information they want, where and when they want it.

Consider for example offers mailed to consumers who have loyalty cards for a particular retailer. We tailor coupons and promotions through customer understanding for both retailers and brands.

Shopping Convenience and Delivery: From consumer labour to point-and-click

Today’s consumer is focused on convenience. Dunnhumby gathers and uses insights about the customers’ needs to build convenient, online tool to extend personalised offers and services hence driving stress-free shopping.

Store Hours: From limited access to all-out convenience

Today’s retailers can use data to listen to customers. Understanding when customers do their grocery shopping, for example, is essential to understanding their lives, and thus, how best to serve them.

dunnhumby has worked with retailers to cater offers to different consumer segments based on our knowledge of when and where and how they shop.

Unique contribution to this space:

Analysing data from nearly one billion customers worldwide, we uncover valuable insights: what customers want, where they want it, and how much they’re willing to pay for it.                    

We are a technology enabled consultancy. Through a combination of people and proprietary tools, we help our clients turn those insights into action, personalising the experience in and out of store, online and off, before, during and after purchase, earning a lifetime of loyalty.

Over the past 25 years we have continuously evolved our business to stay at the forefront of customer science helping retailers and brands understand and engage their customers. We know our industry will continue to change rapidly and our consulting operating model ensures that we can move with agility to enable us to stay at the forefront of our industry.

AIM: Explain the importance of retail analytics, talking about the solutions you offer for retail analytics. How does analytics play a role in the services you offer?

Customer Knowledge: This service entails an intensive programme of customer insight, analytics and detailed customer strategy development, to create and operationalise a customer-led cultural transformation.

Analytics takes place through advanced customer insights that is by creating and enriching customer data, assess insight capability and identify gaps, optimise customer segments and customer attributes using omni-channel data sources. Customer strategy is also primary as it entails organisational health checks for customer-centric capabilities and data strategy.

Customer Engagement: Customer Engagement is a solution that supports retailers and brands in the identification and quantification of customer headroom opportunities, to develop personalised communication strategies and enhanced customer experiences. This service is Ideal for Marketing, Customer Experience, Customer Strategy, Customer Service, CRM, Insight or Loyalty teams seeking to increase engagement rates and grow customer value.

Category Optimisation: End-to-end category management toolkit, used by retailer’s commercial & marketing teams, to build and execute powerful category plans around assortment, price, promotions, innovation, own-label and communications. It combines strategic tools, software and insight reports, in addition to an industry-leading platform to collaborate with manufacturers on category planning, helping to deliver +2-5% like-for-like annualised sales growth.

Analytics through six modules that support the different stages in the category management process.

  1.          Establish the strategic role of each category and their priority
  2.          Prioritise levels of investment across categories
  3.          Prioritise the use of all available marketing levers for each category
  4.          Assess the effectiveness of currently used marketing levers
  5.          Create category strategies and plans to drive growth
  6.          Perform in-store & online assortment and merchandising reviews

Price and Promotions: A modular framework of methodologies, tools and cutting-edge customer science, to help process, understand, model and act upon all the market drivers influencing the shopper’s behaviour around pricing and promotions. Ideal to assess and optimise cross-category pricing and achieve top-line sales growth of 1-3% and margin gains of 2-5%.

Supplier Engagement: A combination of award-winning insight and media consultancy tools and software products used by buying and merchandising teams to enable richer supplier contribution towards category optimisation and customer engagement. This collaborative approach delivers both incremental supplier revenue and +2 to +10% in like-for-like annualised sales growth per category.

AIM: ‘Customer science is the key to successful customer management.’ Throw light on this statement. Also explain how brands are driving demand for data analysts globally?

We need to know our customers better than they know themselves. So many retailers today are sitting on a gold-mine of customer data they’re not unlocking the value from. Knowing and understanding your customers’ behaviour so you can meet their needs is every retailer’s secret weapon and through today’s data science expertise this can deliver long term competitive advantage.

Two key areas where at dunnhumby we are utilising customer data to really change the game for retailers is Pricing and Scenario Planning.

With so much of the retail battleground being fought on pricing, the retailers that will win are the ones who are the most price competitive without over-investing. Having a deep customer understanding of the drivers of price perception for different customer groups provides a sound basis for smart investment, and then advanced pricing science provides prescriptive recommendations on pricing individual lines and Key Value Items in line with what’s most important to your customers. Being able to accurately model pricing strategies in real time based on customer needs provides an advantage over others who are falling down a hole with price matching and following their competitors.

Likewise being able to forecast the impact of factors such as these price matching wars, shifts in customer perceptions, changes in demographics, emerging competitors with new business models, technological innovation and economic shocks, is another real game changer.

With increasing data volumes, variety and velocity coupled by numerous case studies where analytics has added significant value, brands and retailers are keen to attain competitive edge through the understanding of these data. This requires talent in the form of data scientists and analysts with the skills to convert the data into actionable insights. This demand for talent will continue to exponentially increase in tandem with the explosive growth of data and advancement in storage and processing technology.

AIM: What brought you to the analytics landscape? Also talk about your experience in the field. Also present Dunnhumby’s roadmap in an analytics landscape. (Future of dunnhumby in this landscape)

Trained in Mathematics, Computer Science and Telecommunications, I spent my entire career in various technology areas. I only really started getting closer to the specific field of data analytics during my time at Google. For one, because Google is culturally a very data-centric company, trying to measure everything and take all decisions using data, from the most mundane like what to stock in the company’s kitchens to all major business decisions. Google made its fortune by making advertising very measurable and data-driven, that was the strength of Adwords, it made advertising very accountable and measurable. In the last years of my time at Google, I was in charge of Google’s Doubleclick and Google Analytics business lines for Europe, Middle East and Africa, which were the cornerstone of Google’s data analytics offering.

I can’t comment in too much detail on dunnhumby’s roadmap, among other things because we have been reviewing our strategy in depth since I arrived 2 months ago.

AIM: Talk about the work culture at Dunnhumby.

Our company values are passion, collaboration, curiosity and courage. Our people at dunnhumby really seem to embody that in all that they do. We have great office spaces which encourage working across teams and geographies. This allows our people to really innovate and create solutions with others and of course alongside our clients.

We aim to foster a culture of accountability and empowerment for all our people, giving them the necessary tools and systems to strive for excellence and to do what it takes to achieve results.

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Priya Singh
Priya Singh leads the editorial team at AIM and comes with over six years of working experience as a journalist across broadcast and digital platforms. She loves technology and an avid follower of business and startup news. She is also a self-proclaimed baker and a crazy animal lover.

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