Saturday, February 15, 2014

Business Intelligence enhancing Retail Industry

In the current age of Information technology, the retail and wholesale industries have never been more fragmented. From discount warehouse clubs to upscale specialty stores, corner convenience chains to mega e-commerce sites, buyers are better informed, less loyal, and highly cautious about discretionary spending.  Organizations are always striving to balance product, price and service sensitivities, while protecting margins and trying to ensure inventory availability while maintaining reduced carrying costs. Now more than ever information must be leveraged in new ways to gain competitive advantage and renew stability in these uncertain times. And that’s where BI plays a huge part.

Retail Industry Overview:

Increasing competitors: There has been an explosion of products, markets and stores. There is also always the constantly looming threat of new entrants, who look to take away the market share.

Increasing Customer Expectations: There is the ever increasing demand from customers that have to be met. Innovation in technology has brought the services and the products to the fingertips of the customers.

3.     Customer/Supplier bargaining power: The retail industry has to often deal with the pressure of the customers or suppliers influencing the pricing decisions of products.

Retail Industries use the following BI framework for establishing and integrating their Hardware and Software components.

Retail Industries use the following BI framework for establishing and integrating their Hardware and Software components.

The source systems capture the data from the daily transactions and store them. The ETL layer is responsible for data extraction, cleansing, staging, transformation and loading. The Data Warehouse stores the data depending on the needs of the business. The BI Layer is responsible for the number crunching by applying business logic and generates relevant metrics.

Evolution of BI in Retail Industry

The evolution of BI in the retail industry is staggering, from static reports to dynamic dashboards. Insights can be given into data with root cause analysis to determine the functionality and the effectiveness of decision making. These advancements in BI with respect to retail industry has helped in providing the following advantages,

Aligning the business with client needs: Identifying opportunities and enhancing decision making.

Gaining competitive advantage: Analyzing the data and generating reports to increase business functionality and effectiveness.

Resource allocation optimizations: The technical and the financial data needs to be integrated with the operational data in order to maximize the resource allocation and enhance productivity.

In the retail industry, using Business Intelligence (BI) is an obvious choice. But before that, one must understand buying behavior, customer requirements, exact price points for products, shipping and inventory timing and changing trends. Getting the right product on the store shelves at the right time, for the right price is the essence and what retail is all about.


No comments:

Post a Comment