Redesign, Redefine and Recruit Insights and Analytics Teams to Turn Shoppers into Customers

Leading home improvement retailer case study showing a man speaking to colleagues seated at a table


The home improvement industry has been riding a wave thanks to a healthy housing market and the do-it-yourself trend. But, many retailers are learning the hard lesson that online and store traffic does not equal customers and purchases.

A leading home improvement retailer addressed lagging sales and market share by taking a fresh look at its organizational structure to improve their focus, better leverage their omni-channel capabilities, deliver increased value for our customers and drive greater conversion.

The overall customer insights and analytics redesign effort led to being recognized by the C-Suite as “one of the most effective organizations in the history of the company.” – Senior Marketing Leader

Their greatest challenge with mobile and digital was around the new, complex consumer journey. With so many touchpoints, they became distracted by the technology and lost sight of how to activate insights from the resulting customer and market data across the entire business.

Industry analysts made the following observations:

The sector is doing well right now, so it’s not an industry thing. If I were calling the shots, I’d really be getting to know customers to get the right focus.

I’m all for high tech, but only if it’s meeting real customer needs…Expensive to roll out to the entire chain or even regionally, but [does not add value] if it’s not a conversion tool.

Solving this challenge required rebuilding a best-in-class customer insights and analytics (CI&A) team by redesigning the work, redefining the future of insight and analytic innovation, and recruiting the talent for this new model to work across the organization for greater impact.


The CI&A leader, a veteran of classical consumer packaged goods marketing and research, turned to Dixon Smith, Managing Principal with O’Connell Group, to help her tackle this very rapid, mission-critical recruiting effort. In her previous roles as a global customer and market knowledge leader for a Fortune 50 company, her trust in the firm was based on their ability to dive into their deep CI&A talent pool, assess fit and bring the best people to the surface.

Clearly understanding the need to move beyond traditional, often siloed, quantitative/qualitative market research skills, the O’Connell Group team moved quickly to deliver top candidates. Re-envisioning the required skills in specialized roles, but also the expertise to articulate data-driven insights, connect with line management, and bring customer needs to the forefront of all business discussions.

With three senior CI&A leaders quickly and successfully placed early in the process, the work of building, developing, engaging and inspiring the cross-functional team continued.


The activation of customer and market knowledge across the enterprise strengthens the position of the CI&A organization as the voice of the customer and strategic advisor to senior leadership. The overall customer insights and analytics redesign effort led to being recognized by the C-Suite as “one of the most effective organizations in the history of the company.” The senior leader remarked, “How did you get so many great people so fast?”

Early investments behind the renewed focus, including building the customer insights and analytics team, has driven $250 million in incremental revenue.

Learn More About Consumer Insights and Analytics Hiring Trends

Please call, email us or download our white paper “Consumer Insights Fill the Void,” to benefit from our direct experience helping companies acquire the right talent.