The volume and variety of data are constantly growing. The retail market rapidly evolves, and so do the demands on data processing. Every day, managers have to make many decisions. Thus, the demand for applications that can adequately support their work also increases. Business Intelligence (BI) fits precisely into that category and can address this topical challenge of all retailers quickly, delivering a clear competitive advantage.
It is quite challenging to prepare accurate and integrated reporting that considers multiple data sources across different systems without applying a sophisticated tool in terms of the work involved, money and time that employees spend on the evaluation. Moreover, it is quite common that errors and misunderstandings occur in such a procedure due to different versions of output documents, which, for example, use other data or do not incorporate the latest updates or corrections. Business Intelligence can effectively pick up on these process weaknesses, put the information into context and identify the links between the various scenarios, which may occur in retail. Proactive work with larger volumes of data is far more complicated without a similar solution.
Analytics for better business
The BI analytical tools allow you to process and evaluate information from many different databases and sources, including Excel spreadsheets, turnaround plans, etc. Thus, the tool eliminates the obstacle of lengthy matching, and the direct links to individual data systems minimise the risk of inaccuracies. By doing so, you obtain precise analyses and reporting, whether the standard for each day or in-depth, which can be used, for example, to better predict the future development of the market or customer behaviour. There are clear benefits for the retailer – substantially lower costs required to produce the analyses and, as a result, faster and more efficient decision-making.
As Karolína Bagierová, BI consultant at U&SLUNO, explains: “The major advantage is having all the data in one place, so you do not need to switch between several systems. If you need to get information about inventories, sales, loyalty campaigns... Or, if you want to link information with one another, you have it all in one tool. Filter the data, select different periods, stores, assortments, etc.” The tool’s other strength is the ability to look at data from multiple angles, according to individual stores, time trends or different assortment groups. Therefore, the retailer can easily compare the data using selected indices and identify the consequences of trends in set parameters. All employees involved always work with the exact and up-to-date figures.
The BI tool can help you with the following analyses:
- Sales analysis,
- Customer loyalty analysis,
- Promotion analysis,
- Inventory analysis,
- Purchasing analysis.
The primary target group of the Business Intelligence tool include medium and large business companies. On the other hand, virtually anyone can use the outputs generated by the system. Small clients may also be satisfied with another form of cooperation; we can prepare only selected mini analyses (e.g., ABC analysis of items based on sales) based on the supplied data, without the need to implement the tool.
In any case, the solution is very scalable and can range from individual reports to a robust BI tool used by people in various departments, from purchasing to marketing. The BI tools are living means in the sense that they can always address any new requirements arising within the business, whether data evaluation, a new process or adding another data source. And the BI can address any of them.
In many respects, Business Intelligence is a vital tool for supporting business development. Accurate and up-to-date information is essential for effective pricing, better promotion design or product range optimisation. And after all, this is a prerequisite for success in today’s retail market.8. 6. 2021