Marks & Spencer has launched a new data academy to train staff from every part of its business in data science.
In a bid to ensure it is “fit for the digital age”, M&S enlisted Decoded to teach more than 1000 employees in the first 18 months.
According to M&S, students will come from a total cross-section of the retailer, from board directors to product buyers and store managers.
They will undertake an 18 month in-work data science skills programme and learn about machine learning and programming languages, including R and Python.
The announcement comes as high street retailers look to compete with online delivery giants such as Amazon.
“We need to change their digital behaviours, mindsets and our culture to make the business fit for the digital age,” chief executive Steve Rowe said.
He addedthat embracing new technology was key to ensuring M&S’s future.
The retailer is now looking to develop a leadership team that is the most data-literate in the industry.