After graduating from LIM with a bachelor’s in Marketing, Anna’s professional path took her from retail planning and allocation to what’s become one of the most crucial parts of the fashion business: analytics. In her current role as Senior Director of Analytics and Customer Acquisition with the department store chain Belk, Anna takes a granular look at customers' buying habits and uses that data to shape brand strategy.

Please tell us about your career path, and specifically about your current role.
My path into Digital Analytics was not conventional. I started my career in merchandise buying, planning, and allocation, truly learning the foundation of retail. 

At Belk, I was given the opportunity to use my analytical skillset to move into digital analytics. In this role, I’ve become able to understand so much about the consumer and can follow the customer journey from beginning to end. What do they browse, add to their cart, and ultimately what do they purchase? Now in my senior director role, I can apply those data insights to how we market and take the customer journey full circle.

What can you say about the increasing importance of data and analytics in retail right now? Why is this an area companies need to focus on?
Data and analytics are so important in the business world today. The customer tells us so much that we need to use and translate into an optimized shopping experience. Making decisions based on gut reactions doesn’t speak to customers’ needs or wants. Leading with data, and making decisions based on it, is a key to success.

What was your LIM experience like?
I was able to take classes that ranged from merchandising to marketing to visual presentations, and attend guest speaker events with industry professionals. This helped educate me across all areas of fashion and business, while applying those skills to my curriculum and my internships. I had three work experiences before I graduated, which really put me ahead of my peers.

What are your thoughts on LIM launching a new Master of Science degree specifically in the field of Consumer Analytics?
I am so excited that LIM is launching a master’s degree in Consumer Analytics. It reinforces that LIM is at the forefront of education in specialties throughout the fashion industry. This gives students the ability to advance and grow their education, in a focus that is critical across retail.

Want to learn about LIM’s Consumer Analytics master’s program? Click here.