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Dunnhumby Launches Accelerator Lab

New resource center aims to help brands tackle ongoing challenges
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The data science firm dunnhumby has announced the launch of 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, dh Labs, will led by Kyle Fugere, who also heads dunnhumby Ventures

“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, chief technology officer 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 startups.”

“As part of [a] venture capital fund, I have had the opportunity to work hand in hand, as a board member and as an adviser, with startups 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.”

The dh Labs team is working on a number of products in three main areas for retailers and brands the company serves:

• A B2C mobile app called HuYu sources purchasing patterns and lifestyle data directly from verified customers, and it helps generate insights for retailers and brands to help them understand customer attitudes and behavior, so they can better respond to their needs and demands. 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 for dunnhumby, “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.

• Dh Labs' new OneFour analytical engine boasts what dunnhumby calls “Speed-of-Thought Insights. Currently used by teams within one of dunnhumby’s largest retailer clients, the platform rapidly calculates customer-based metrics, such as household penetration data, making available in just milliseconds what previously took hours to deliver. 

Developed by Chris Brooks, dunnhumby’s head of science innovation, the new data engine, was born out of frustration of waiting for customer metrics to be calculated. 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,” Brooks said.

Dh Evolve is an automated machine-learning platform. It helps clients understand specialized aspects of their business, such as customer churn and how to predict propensity to purchase in-store or online.

London-based dunnhumby employs more than 2,500 data science and marketing experts in offices throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

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