Data Services

Sophia – Wisdom for IT

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Product Overview

Date of PublicationFebruary 5, 2023
GeographyNorth America/EMEA
LicenseEnterprise/Electronic - See Pricing Tab for Fair Use
FormatOnline - Web Access

Now with Pure Play Ecommerce Companies

Sophia is by far the most comprehensive source of not just validated leads, but key wisdom for smart decisions in the retail industry. It is the only lead generation system that links IT spend, to specific technology, to specific personnel, to specific financial results, tied together and backed by our advisory staff. Sophia provides insight into nearly 300 types of hardware/software/services and key personnel for over 7,000 retailers and restaurants in North America and Europe/Middle East/Africa.

Now with Predictive Analytics, the system allows for benchmarking against competitors, identifying which retailers are leaders in specific technologies, their projected IT spending plans in key categories(like Business Intelligence/Analytics, Merchandising/Supply Chain, ERP, and Store Systems), and which technologies they are likely to purchase in the next 24 months.

Your enterprise relationship allows everyone in your organization to create targeted mailing lists of key executives, do competitive analysis, look up market share and understand IT spend for an individual retailer or thousands of companies

Sophia is the only data research that takes an enterprise view of the technology that retailers are deploying AND the performance that they are achieving with the use of these technologies.  All wrapped up as an industry best lead generation system.  It allows you to let your sales team focus on specific opportunities instead of wasting jet fuel and money going from prospect to prospect with no insight.

Sophia Core Benefits

  • Company Profiles – Complete profiles of companies on 300 different technologies they have deployed.
  • Lead Generation – Nearly 100,000 validated contacts with emails based on technology installed and likely replacement dates.
  • Graphical Financial Benchmarks – Compare key financial metrics of retailers by segment and subsegment. Zoom in to review the financial metrics for the entire retail segment.
  • IT Spending Breakouts – Each profile includes projected IT budget information for hardware, software, services in the following categories (Infrastructure, Store Systems, Core ERP, Application Development, Collaboration, Merchandising/Supply Chain, Commerce, BI/Analytics, Sales & Mktg, Legal/Real Estate).
  • Key Technology Leadership – Is the retailer a leader in particular technologies? We look at key financial metrics and the strength of the retailer and leadership in key technologies in each company SPA profile.
  • What’s in Play – One of the key benefits of Sophia is the ability to see into the future for each retailer and see which systems are due for replacement and which game changing technologies they are likely to invest in within the next 24 months.
  • Key Vendor Influence – Every account has key vendors that have significant influence to enhance your opportunity or block your opportunity. The SPA profiles show you which vendors in the account are your friend or foe.

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Sophia Introduction Video

Watch this brief video for a more complete introduction and then give us a call to setup a complete demo and free trial of the most complete knowledge service for the retail & hospitality IT industry.


Crunching over 9.0 million data points Sophia currently tracks hundreds of software types (ie. Mobile, Video Analytics, Big Data, Beacons, and Mobile Payment and traditional technologies like POS, CRM, Ecommerce, Order Management Systems, Merchandising, Data Warehouse, etc.), hardware platforms (ie. POS, Scanners, Servers, Printers, Self-Checkout, etc.), types of services (ie. Maintenance, Help Desk, Custom Programming, etc.) and key personnel (ie. CIO, IT, Store Operations, etc.).


With over 8,800 companies and 200,000 validated contacts, data is available for the following industry segments:

Retail/Hospitality in North America and Europe/Middle East/Africa

Food/Grocery (Kroger, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Wakerfern, Tesco,)
Drug Stores (Walgreens, CVS)
Superstore/Warehouse Clubs/Hypermarkets (Walmart, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco, Auchan)
Mass Merchants (Target, Meijer Stores)
Department Stores (JC Penney, Sears, Kohls, Kaufaf, Marks and Spencer)
Specialty Hard Goods (Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Rooms to Go, Canadian Tire)
Specialty Soft Goods (H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Casual Male, Old Navy)
Convenience/Gas/Forecourt (Chevron, Exxon,)
Fast Food (McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)
Bar/Restaurant (Applebees, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle)
Lodging (Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton)
Entertainment:Casinos and Cruises (Carnival, Harrah’s, Wynn, Caesar’s Palace)
Entertainment:Museums, Theme Parks, Theaters, Others (Disney, Universal, AMC, Carmike)

Pure Play Ecommerce:

Food/Grocery (Fresh Direct, Ocado, Peapod, Amazon Fresh)
Drug Stores/Beauty (, Birchbox,
Superstore/Warehouse Clubs/Hypermarkets/Mass Merchants  (, Alibaba, Rakutan, Groupon)
Department Stores (Ebay, Gilt, Stoneberry)
Specialty Hard Goods (1800Petmeds, 1800mattress, RockAuto, Revzilla)
Specialty Soft Goods (Zappos, Borsheim Jewelry, Dockers, eBags)
Fast Food (Just Eat, Coffeeforless,
Bar/Restaurant (The Whisky Exchange, Wine Enthusiast)

Manufacturing/CPG Segments that include the following:

Food/Beverage/Tobacco (P&G, General Mills, Altria)
Apparel, Shoes, Jewelry (Nike, Ralph Lauren, Phillips-Van Heusen)
Electronics, Recreation (HP, Intel, Easton Sports)
Hard Goods (GE, Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin)
Pharmaceuticals (Pfizer, Merck, McKesson, AstraZeneca)
Automotive (Toyota, General Motors, Honda Motor, Siemens, Boeing)

Key Highlights include the following:

What’s in Play? – anyone can give you a list of retail accounts, but what is most important is to find out which are most likely to buy your technologies. In other words, what accounts and technologies are in play and likely to be replaced soon. Sophia is the only data service to provide this data on nearly 300 retail technologies like Mobile, Business Intelligence, Analytics.

1 Minute Queries and Mailing Lists – Get to the data you need for your sales activities quickly and in detail.  Choose specific tightly defined lists and allow for targeted campaigns that drive real results for your company,

Company Technology Profiles – Use filters to generate retailer technology profiles from our list of thousands of retailers and restuarants. Each profile includes revenues, IT spend, competitive comparisons, hardware, software, services, and key personnel.

Vendor Profiles – Choose from hundreds of profiles on technology vendors. Each profile includes key contacts, customer references, platforms and segments supported as well as individual solution overviews.

Vendor Scorecards – Run reports such as “Who offers business intelligence software?” and get a comprehensive list of vendors and the segments in which the solution is offered. Click through to any vendor profile and their customers and full solution portfolio.

Quick Market Share – Find vendor market share for specific retail technologies (ie. POS Software vendor market share for Food/Drug Retailers)based on the data in the system.

Enterprise Access – unlike other research firms that charge on a per seat basis, your subscription to Sophia comes with enterprise access to the data.

IT Spend – with this edition we have added estimated IT spend for hardware, software, services and labor/overhead for each retailer based on industry survey results. This includes both capitalized and expensed IT spend to help vendors and retailers better align their spending to industry leaders.

Output to Excel, HTML, PDF or XML formats – easily get output to Microsoft Word or Excel so that you can manipulate the data and use it in your every data activities.

What vendors seem to have a strong account presence in this account or segment?

To view product screens and download a Free sample click the Preview tab.

Download a Sample Company Profile


Sophia is a phenomenal tool that allows such great insight into exactly what we are looking for when targeting future partners/clients. From its in-depth financial reporting tools down to its 1 minute mailer it has so many feature that saves our company time and money. Our business runs faster because most of the research is being done in one spot only taking a few minutes instead of hours pulling from multiple data sources. Match up Sophia with the great customer support and service IHL services provide and you have an all around winner! Could not be happier! – Jason W, Business Intelligence Analyst, Credit Processing Company

My team and I are really enjoying using Sophia. Definitely money well spent. – Alex Z. Market Development Manager, Major Chip Manufacturer

Just wanted to let you know I have been using this database and am very impressed with the content and ease of use.  Excellent site!  I’ll make sure I talk fondly and frequently about Sophia. – Dave G. Retail Industry Manager, Major Retail Software Company

I didn’t realize Sophia was this powerful.  Thanks again, it is an impressive tool. – J.D. Sales Executive, Major Retail/Hospitality Vendor

How is your Sophia different from other services in the market?

1) First and foremost it is the training of the people that we have involved with Sophia. Combined we have over 75 years of retail technology experience developing technology and consulting retailers and technology companies in retail. We have thousands of contacts in the industry and know where to get the answers when we have questions.

3) Each of the names and emails are validated monthly so your bounce rate is considerably lower than others.

3) Sophia is the only industry tool that matches IT spend of retailers to their financial performance.

4) It is designed for the Business User. Most other systems are designed for db administrators. You simply get a huge book or a bunch of tables. We provide a business user front end that greatly enhances the usefulness of the system by the people who need the data most. You can be up and productive in less than 5 minutes.

5) While others may track 10 types of hardware and software, Sophia provides insight into nearly 300 technologiesThere is a depth of technology information that is unmatched in the industry.

How often is the systems updated?

We are working to update Sophia every day, but the database is updated corporately once every three months. Every month we update between 15,000 and 20,000 data points to keep the data as fresh as possible. Whenever you get to know Sophia, you can be assured that the information you get is as fresh as the last 14 -21 days.

Where do you get all this data?

Anyway we possibly can. We leverage surveys, personal relationships, hundreds of store audits, trade show presentations, trade magazines, case studies, customer lists, press contacts, press releases, news stories, etc. Every day our team sees close to 5,000 news stories and much of the data is simply low hanging fruit from secondary information that is out there.

How can I tell that the contacts/personnel are not old?

We clean the data every month. Each personnel entry has a date changed field or the date in which we verified that this person is still with the organization. If that date has not been updated within the last two years and we are unable to verify that person is still employed with that company, we delete them. One time we deleted 30,000 names – that was a challenge to finally push that delete button but we are more interested in the quality of the information than the quantity.

Can I just see Sophia at work first?

Absolutely, we would be happy to schedule a webinar for you and your company. For more information contact us at +1.615.591.2955.

What are the requirements to start using Sophia?

All you need is a web browser and an advisory relationship. Each user from your company must register using the company email domain but will have full access to all the data services and research studies for which your company has subscriptions.

Still have more questions, contact us at 888-445-6777 xt1 or +1.615-591-2955 if calling from an international location.

Click here to request more information about this product

Full Access – $195 per segment per month per region or $2,200 annually (Discounts available based on number of segments and duration of subscription.)

This level allows for an enterprise license for full access to Sophia, including the What’s in Play, 1 – Minute Mailing List, 1 – Minute Query Builder, and Full Access Retailer Profiles with Estimated IT Spend. (See Fair Use Agreement Below)

Segments to choose from are the following:

Retail/Hospitality in North America and Europe/Middle East/Africa

Food/Grocery Stores
Drug Stores and Pharmacies
Supercenters/Hypermarkets/Warehouse Clubs
Mass Merchants
Convenience/Gas/Forecourt Operations
Department Stores
Specialty Hard Goods
Specialty Soft Goods
Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurants
Bar/Restaurant/Table Service Restaurants

Manufacturing/CPG Segments

Apparel, Shoes, Jewelry
Electronics, Recreation
Hard Goods

To download a Free Sample, see the Preview Tab.

Vendor Profile Research – $2,500 annually or $250 per month

This add-on allows for the users to get thousands of vendor profiles with key personnel, solutions offered, segments in which they offer their solutions and the platforms supported. Purchased together with the Sophia segments this offers drill-down ability to data on customers and those customer profiles.

Don’t see a pricing plan that fits your needs or still have questions, please contact us at +1.615.591.2955 during normal business hours (9am-5pm US EST) or Email us at ihl(at)

IHL Group License and Fair Use Agreement

All of IHL Group’s generally available research are electronic licenses and can be shared freely within the purchasing organization and wholly owned subsidiaries. We only ask that this information not be shared with partners or others outside the purchasing company without authorization from IHL Group. The license does not extend to joint ventures or other partnerships. If the relationship is not a wholly-owned subsidiary, then both parties would need a license.

Practically, this implies the following:

  1. The purchasing company can use the data and research worldwide internally as long as the international organizations are wholly owned subsidiaries of the purchasing company.
  2. The data or any research cannot be distributed in whole or in part to partners or customers without express written approval from IHL Group.
  3. The purchasing company may quote components of the data (limited use) in presentations to customers such as specific charts. This is limited to percentage components, not individual unit information. Unit data cannot be shared externally without express written approval from IHL Group. All references to the data in presentations should include credit to IHL Group for the data.
  4. The purchasing company can reference qualitative quotes in printed material with written approval from IHL Group.
  5. All requests requiring written approval should be submitted to ihl(at) and will be reviewed within one business day.

For any questions regarding this policy, please contact us at 1-888-IHL-6777 (North America) +1.615.591.2955 (International) or email us at ihl(at)