Shop Direct is set to ramp up its investment in big data as it hires its first head of data science and digital analytics.

Gael Decoudu joins the etail group from Barcelona-based business card specialist Vistaprint, where he was director of data science. He previously worked for Lloyds Banking Group and Capital One.

At owner Shop Direct, Decoudu will lead a team of over 20 people that will use data analytics to uncover “actionable insights”. These insights will help improve the end-to-end customer journey, including making it more personalised.

Shop Direct deputy chief executive Gareth Jones said: “Using data to understand our customer and our business is one of the most critical success factors for Shop Direct today and in the future, and Gael has outstanding experience in leading teams that use advanced analytics to create commercial advantages.

“As part of our strategy to become a world-class digital retailer, we want to develop insight from data analysis to create a more personalised experience at every stage of the customer journey. That’s what Gael’s team will be focused on and we intend to continue investing in our data asset, as well as new ways to analyse it and unearth insight.”

Decoudu said: “The company is using its remote retail heritage as well as new methods in data analytics to understand its customer and improve their experience.

“Through even better data modelling and segmentation, we intend to unearth new actionable insight that can make the shopping experience even more relevant for our customer, which can help our retail brands thrive.”