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Retail Big Data: Tax Technology Skips to the Front of the Line

The retail sector has enthusiastically adopted big data technologies – which may prove invaluable as the industry looks for new ways to manage the rising pressure of tax compliance requirements.

Retailers were quick to spot the opportunities nestled in large volumes of data and exploit the technologies specifically designed to store, process and analyze it. Retailers continue to be among the most inventive in applying big data for predictive analytics. As Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, said in a speech at a retail trade show earlier this year: “You’d be amazed at what can be predicted. The question is, how big is the data set and how accurate do you want it to be?”

At the same time, few industries face a greater need to deploy robust, agile systems to manage their data for tax purposes. The sheer volume of data continues to grow as the complexity of regulatory demands expands. Retailers are turning to tax technologies that can handle large data sets to ensure the quality, precision and consistency of their data.

A new Vertex white paper, How Big Data Is Transforming Retail – and Retail Tax Functions, examines these interwoven big data trends. The report describes the parallels between the data management capabilities companies are deploying to leverage big data analytics opportunities and the tools needed to comply with a growing tax burden.

The paper also takes a look at four essential capabilities that tax technology needs if it is to successfully process large data volumes:

  1. Unification: The ability to harmonize data from disparate sources for tax purposes.
  2. Validation: The process of determining how data fits into tax processes and ensuring it’s up-to-date.
  3. Enrichment: Conversion from financial reporting into tax-ready formats, enriched by global tax content and consolidated by the prevailing accounting standards and currency.
  4. Access: Once the tax calculations have concluded, the data is retained to satisfy all global data retention requirements and provide an audit trail, when necessary.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information.


About this Contributor

Pete Olanday Headshot
Pete Olanday
Practice Leader - Consulting, Retail Practice

Pete Olanday is the Practice Leader for the Vertex Consulting Retail Practice.  Pete is responsible for the integration of Vertex's Indirect Tax solutions in the retail space, specifically with Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and ecommerce platforms.  He has been with Vertex for over four years.  Prior to joining Vertex, Pete worked for international retailer IKEA, responsible for its POS platform in the U.S. and Canada.  He also previously worked for EY, in its management consulting practice, implementing ERP solutions.  Pete has a bachelor's degree in Information and Decision Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University.

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