Mentions of big data within the filings of companies in the fashion industry were 24% lower in the second quarter of 2022 than in the prior year comparable period.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to big data between July 2021 and June 2022 was 114% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from where data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When fashion and accessories companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Big data is one of these topics, companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether big data is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of fashion and accessories companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned big data at least once in filings during the past twelve months, this was 58% compared to 20% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to big data.

Of the ten biggest employers in the fashion industry, Pou Chen was the company that referred to big data the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified four big data-related sentences in the Taiwan-based company's filings, 0.12% of all sentences. Hermes mentioned big data the second most, the issue was referred to in 0.08% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high big data mentions included Gildan, Hanesbrands and Christian Dior.

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By GlobalData

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on big data and how important the issue is considered within the fashion industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning big data more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into big data have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises big data mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2022 was 'data analytics', which made up 87% of all big data subtheme mentions by fashion and accessories companies.

North America extended its dominance for big data hiring among apparel industry companies in the three months ending June.