Global Customer Data Science Leader Launches “dunnhumby Labs” to Accelerate Innovation in the Global Retail Marketplace

17 September 2019

Kyle Fugere, venture capital veteran and Global Head of dunnhumby Ventures, will also lead dunnhumby Labs

CHICAGO – September 17, 2019 –  dunnhumby, the global leader in customer data science, today announced the launch of dunnhumby Labs (dh Labs), an internal accelerator focused on bringing innovative technologies that expand and advance the company’s current product offerings in the global retail marketplace. The new business unit is led by Kyle Fugere, who also heads dunnhumby Ventures.

"As part of my role operating the venture capital fund, I have had the opportunity to work hand in hand, as a board member and as an advisor, with start-ups around the world," said Fugere. "Now, in my dual role leading dh Labs, I am working with the team to take the lessons learned from working with high-growth startups and applying them to our most promising innovations. The mission is to push our team members to think like a startup, to aggressively pursue big opportunities, and to accelerate their path to value creation."
 
"We are extremely proud to be empowering businesses everywhere to compete and thrive in the modern data-driven economy with our science, product and computational execution innovation," said David Jack, CTO of dunnhumby. "I am delighted that we are able to build on the successes of our venture team investments through our new accelerator to develop our own start-ups."
 
The dh Labs team is currently working on a number of products to transform three areas of common challenges for retailers and brands: 
 
  • 360 View of the Customer: "HuYu" is a B2C mobile app that sources behavioral, attitudinal and lifestyle data directly from verified customers, generating insights for retailers and brands to help them understand their customers’ attitudes and behavior, and better respond to their needs. Enabling a 360 view of the customer with products such as HuYu, dunnhumby can now deliver invaluable "rest of market" and "rest of basket" insights to retailers and CPGs.

According to Karyn Mukerjee, Director of Data Innovation and product leader for HuYu, "Customers are increasingly aware of the value of their data and expect a clear value exchange. In return for sharing data, customers earn points that can be redeemed for rewards directly through the app." The app is part of the dunnhumby Beyond suite of research solutions, with additional products launching this fall.

  • Speed-of-Thought Insights: The "OneFour" analytical engine rapidly calculates customer-based metrics, such as household penetration. Results are now available in just milliseconds that previously took minutes and hours to deliver. In today’s competitive environment, speed-of-thought insight is increasingly important to retailers who are no longer willing to wait for answers to crucial business questions. "OneFour" is currently used by teams within one of dunnhumby’s largest retailer clients.
Developed by dunnhumby’s Head of Science Innovation, Chris Brooks, "the analytical engine was born out of frustration of waiting for customer metrics to be calculated – which are surprisingly computationally expensive and cannot be pre-summarized. So, we designed and engineered a bespoke solution, with optimized and parallelized query algorithms, to massively compress the wait time to benefit both the team and our clients." 
 
  • Automated Machine Learning: dh Evolve is an automated machine-learning platform focused on solving complex retail challenges, such as understanding customer churn and predicting propensity to purchase and in what channel (i.e. instore or online). 

With this state-of-the-art technology, dunnhumby data scientists can automate time-intensive data analytics and deploy machine learning to surface deeper insights and trends enabling clients to gain competitive advantage and improve sales and profitability.

Led by Dr. Victor Robin, dunnhumby’s Director of Data Science, dh Evolve is democratizing customer data science for clients of all sizes, and has created millions of models for retailers and CPGs around the world. "dunnhumby can now deliver science to clients via an automated machine-learning platform. This is standardizing the use of machine learning across our clients’ businesses."
 
"The retail market is undergoing a massive transformation and leaders need to look beyond the immediate horizon to be successful long-term," said Fugere. "With dunnhumby Labs, we are looking to support our retailer and CPG partners across the globe with bleeding edge technology and innovations, to help them better compete today and tomorrow."