Asda is trialling a generative AI platform to assist its executives in making “quicker and more informed decisions”.

The supermarket is testing a proof of concept of the platform, developed by London-based company Harley.

“By integrating into Asda’s data ecosystem, the collaboration unlocks new levels of operational agility through rapid data-driven decision-making, setting a new standard within the retail industry,” said Simon Jury, VP of data & analytics at Asda.

“Harley’s real-time AI solution is the future of how people are going to interact with data,” he added.

The tool will enable Asda’s leadership to “test assumptions in real time, during live conversations” Harley said. Questions can be asked in plain English, with responses drawn from operational datasets across sales, availability, departments and stores, plus additional external datasets such as the weather.

The Harley engine works end to end, giving users flexibility in what they ask. The results could be served as charts to visualise data, tables for calculations, or text where appropriate.

Harley’s proof of concept for Asda has been designed to be scalable, with potential for the AI-driven insights to be extended across Asda’s operations. Initial applications have focused on executive decisions in “high-pressure environments like board meetings”.

“Harley’s engine offers rapid insights into data, helping influence the highest-level decisions within an organisation,” said Alex Banks, co-founder and CEO of Harley. “This collaboration underscores our shared commitment to redefining retail excellence, proving that the right data at the right time can be a game-changer in how businesses respond to market dynamics.

“We look forward to working alongside Asda, where I’m confident data-driven insights will become the cornerstone of competitive advantage in this fast-changing sector,” he added.