Art and Science of Retail Converge at JDA Focus Connect – is Here!

Looking around Barcelona, you get the impression that this is a land whose people have already figured out that art and science need to work together to build beautiful, functional things.  The famous landmarks of Segrada Familia, Park Guell, the Barcelona Football Stadium and more – all testaments to form and function, art and science.

So, it should come as no surprise that JDA’s was unveiled at JDA FocusConnect 2015 in Barcelona.  Starting with a nearly clean sheet, JDA re-envisioned a new merchandising environment – visual, intuitive and analytical, with a focus on the buying habits of consumers as the basis for making buying and ranging decisions.  Moving away from the spreadsheet metaphor that has dominated retail planning for the last 25 years, truly combines the art and science of retail.  Judging by the buzz at the conference, and the tweets buzzing out to the world, we are on to something really great.

JDA’s chief revenue officer, Razat Gaurav, started the buzz first thing Wednesday morning by showing Assortment live on stage.  Running the full assortment environment live on the Google Cloud Platform on his touch-screen enabled tablet, Gaurav showed how simple it is to select candidates for an assortment from a reference list and then generate an “appeal score” based on different customer segments, such as “fashion shopper,” “promotion savvy,” and others.  Gone were the massive spreadsheets, instead replaced by a virtual grid wall showing products and their selling potential.  The amazing thing? Razat had a 15-minute training course in the use of the product, demonstrating the intuitive nature of this breakthrough product.  As expected, some of our attendees took to the Internet to voice their opinions.

Ben Sillitoe ‏@BSillitoe  Nov 4
JDA showcasing Its new retail planning tool set to be launched at NRF 2016. Expect to see it @rbtexpo in March, too #JDAFC15
Miya Knights ‏@mazzaknights  Nov 4
#JDAFC15 demo of @JDASoftware‘s new Retail.Me assortment planning product (for launch at #NRF16). Range according #retail #customer segment

Razat at FC15

And the buzz only grew louder from there.  During the show, the team was walking the floor, tablets in hand, showing the system to anyone who had five minutes.  These were not your garden-variety demos – in fact, in many cases, JDA’s customers did their own driving – playing with the production environment and building their own assortments. was presented a few more times during FocusConnect – once by JDA’s Anand Medepalli, vice president of retail planning product strategy, talking about how JDA’s Innovation Labs and their Data Science teams have worked with our User Experience experts to combine science and ease-of-use, and laying out the roadmap for the full build-out of the environment.

Anand Medepalli ‏@amedepalli  Nov 4
Can an assortment planning solution be intuitive? JDA’s Razat Gaurav says yes with his live demo of Retail.Me at #JDAFC15

The other, by yours truly, built on Anand’s presentation and showed a “day in the life” of an assortment planner, complete with a step-by-step walk through of the Assortment application.

Steve Davis ‏@SteveDavisJDA  Nov 4
Did Razat just show the future of retail working on a real-time app at #JDAFC15 ? Yep! Sure Did!! Come see yourself!

If you were at FocusConnect, you were among the very first to see the true future of retail applications.  If you weren’t – well, you have another chance – at another city known for its balance of art and science.  Stay tuned and join us in New York for the NRF Big Show in January and give a test-drive for yourself, and then tweet your excitement . We look forward to meeting you.


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