How Walmart uses Big Data to drive ecommerce sales

Geoffrey Precourt

"People often say about the best athletes that they play the game a bit slower than everyone else does," Neil Ashe told an overflow audience of 1,000-plus delegates at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Annual Leadership Meeting. "So, to them, the game seems to be slightly slower; they see it at a pace that allows them to go faster."

In January 2012, as Walmart's new president/ceo of global ecommerce, Ashe arrived with a mandate to be the kind of digital athlete who could bring the interactive game of the world's largest retailer up to speed.

"Dramatic growth has created dramatic complexity," he said. "And the interrelationship between different solutions - some of which are in search of a problem - is challenging. The need to survive, let alone thrive, drives a desire to immediately differentiate."