Business Intelligence can uncover hidden information in data
The volume and variety of data are constantly growing, and as the retail market rapidly evolves, so make the demands on data processing. Every day, managers have to make many decisions. Thus, the need for applications that can support their work appropriately increases accordingly. Business Intelligence (BI) fits precisely into this segment, as it can address this pressing challenge for all retailers in a short time and deliver a clear competitive advantage.
Preparing accurate and unifying reporting taking into account multiple data sources across different systems is quite challenging unless you use a sophisticated tool. It is challenging in terms of the work, costs, and time spent by employees in the evaluation process. In addition, errors and misunderstandings caused by different versions of the output documents, e. g., using different data or not incorporating the latest updates or corrections, are quite common in such a process. Business Intelligence can effectively cover such weak process points, put the information into context and identify the links between different situations that may occur in retail. Without a similar solution, proactively working with larger volumes of data is far more complicated.
Analytics for better business
BI analytics tools allow you to process and evaluate information obtained from different databases and sources, including Excel spreadsheets, turnaround plans, etc. Thus, the obstacle of lengthy matching is eliminated, and the risk of inaccuracies is also minimised thanks to the direct connection to individual data systems. As a result, you get clear analyses and reporting, whether the standard for each day or in-depth, on the basis of which you can, for example, better predict the future development of the market or customer behaviour. The benefits for the retailer are clear, significantly lower costs for creating analyses and, therefore, faster and more efficient decision-making.
As Karolína Bagierová, BI consultant at U&SLUNO, explains: “The main advantage is that you keep all the data in one place and do not have to switch between several systems. If you want to gather information about inventory, sales, loyalty campaigns… Or if you want to connect the information with each other, you have everything in one tool. You can filter the data, select different time periods, stores, assortments, etc.” Related to this is another of the tool’s strengths, namely the ability to consider the data from multiple angles, by individual stores, time trends or different assortment groups. The retailer can, thus, easily compare the data using selected indices, as well as discover the consequences of the development of selected parameters. All employees involved always work with the same and up-to-date figures.
Analyses that the BI tool prepares for you:
- Sales analysis,
- Customer loyalty analysis,
- Promotion analysis,
- Inventory analysis,
- Purchase analysis.
Intended for customers
Business Intelligence tool’s primary target group is medium and large business companies. On the other hand, almost anyone can use the outputs prepared by the system. Smaller customers may be more comfortable with another form of cooperation, where we prepare only selected mini-analyses (e. g., ABC analysis of products based on sales) on the basis of the supplied data, without the need to implement the tool.
In any case, the solution is easily scalable from stand-alone reports to a robust BI tool that can be used by people in different departments from purchasing to marketing. BI tools are living tools in the sense that there might always arise a new requirement within the business, whether it’s to evaluate data, a new process or add another resource. And BI can respond to that.
In many ways, Business Ingelligence is a vital tool to support business development. Accurate and up-to-date information is important for effective pricing, better promotion design or product range optimisation. This is, after all, a prerequisite for success in today’s retail market.