Big data and analytics have become top priorities for a growing number of retail executives. Yet many retailers don’t yet have mature big data and analytics competencies across five critical dimensions — intent, people, process, technology and data — according to a new study from IDC Retail Insights.

The study, "Business Strategy: IDC Maturity Model Benchmark — Big Data and Analytics in Retail in North America,” presents benchmark data on the maturity of BDA capabilities of North American retailers, identifies the key capabilities that characterize retailers whose BDA programs have met or exceeded their expectations, and offers detailed guidance for achieving BDA success.

According to the report, in the broader societal and economic context of data-driven organizational cultures and emerging BDA-enabled business models, BDA will remain one of retail's top investment priorities for the foreseeable future.

Two classes of retailers are emerging, IDC says, "BDA haves" and "BDA have nots," each comprising about 20 percent of the industry and immediately making BDA a defining basis of retail competitive advantage. With 60 percent falling in the middle, the structure of the retail industry will swing on the BDA capabilities, the firm says.

Obtaining BDA maturity is a multifaceted endeavor across the five core dimensions, and success depends on the absolute level of maturity in each dimension and on aligning the five dimensions at or near the same level of maturity, the report says.

"Many retailers today do not yet have the big data and analytics maturity to address the range of technology, staffing, data, process, and strategic intent requirements needed to capitalize on their data assets,” Greg Girard, program director, IDC Retail Insights Worldwide Omni-Channel Retail Analytics, said in a statement. “IDC developed a BDA maturity framework to assist retailers in assessing their current capabilities and to evaluate gaps in reaching higher levels of BDA maturity."