The great retail shift from brick-and-mortar to online shopping has brought with it an overwhelming amount of new concepts, strategies, competitors, and angst. But as brands have attempted to adapt to this new reality, many have lost their way, still trying to use tools and techniques that are outdated, inefficient and ineffective. The stakes have never been higher, and brands need to act fast — especially as even popular retail brands such as Barney’s, Gymboree and Forever 21, end in bankruptcy. As the industry becomes more cutthroat, retailers need to take charge of their destiny and make better use of the data and resources now available to them. These resources aren’t just nice-to-have, but must-have for survival. However, it’s not enough to simply pay lip service to data-informed decision making. Retailers need an effective data strategy that helps them better predict — and meet — customer needs by staying on top of a sea of new communications channels, from Instagram to Pinterest to the myriad of online shopping portals and competitors located around the world. Read more at Forbes.