Business Intelligence / Data / Analytics

In order to be successful in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, merchants must collect information from numerous internal and external sources, then analyze that data. New solutions can help to optimize incoming data in order to deliver the business intelligence and analytics needed to move retail businesses successfully into the future. This section offers feature articles, special reports, industry viewpoints and the latest news to help retailers make sense out of the growing influx of information.

Epicor Acquires QuantiSense

Epicor Software Corporation
has announced that it will acquire QuantiSense, a provider of cloud-based and on-premise analytic solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to close on Oct. 31, 2014. 

With the purchase of privately owned QuantiSense, Epicor will be able to expand its range of solutions for midsize and large chains, adding advanced retail analytics and business intelligence to its retail portfolio.


SAP Partners With IBM To Expand Cloud Services

sap ibm logo
has selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business applications. With the partnership SAP aims to accelerate customers' ability to run their businesses in the cloud. 

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is now available through the IBM cloud, allowing the company to expand into new markets, domestically and globally. 


Ensighten Acquires Anametrix To Add Marketing Analytics Technology To Platform

, a global omnichannel data and tag management provider, has acquired Anametrix, a cloud-based, multichannel marketing analytics platform. The news comes following Ensighten’s March 2014 purchase of tag management company TagMan.

The acquisition of Anametrix is positioned to help Ensighten build out its data-driven marketing offering, which initially enabled brands to collect, own and act on data generated across the customer journey. Organizations also will be able to unify and analyze data across paid, owned and earned media to make better marketing decisions. The solution will combine data from dozens of digital and offline sources, including web sites, mobile apps, social media, digital campaigns, CRM and internal systems.


Nearly Half Of CMOs And CIOs Think Internal Collaboration Has Improved

RR Accenture ImageAs many as 43% of CMOs and 50% of CIOs think their relationship with each other has improved over the past year, according to research conducted by Accenture.

However, 45% of CMOs believe there still needs to be more collaboration with CIOs and only 23% of marketers believe the level of collaboration between CMOs and CIOs is at or approaching the right level.


Pier 1 Imports Redesigns Business Intelligence With Microsoft

More than half (56%) of retailers are seeking to deliver cross-channel personalization, and 31% are building more one-to-one tactics, according to research from the e-tailing group.

To achieve this level of relevancy, retailers must be equipped to collect, aggregate and analyze Big Data. Home décor and furniture retailer Pier 1 Imports is partnering with Microsoft to become more customer-centric. 


Microsoft Power BI Delivers Detailed Data To Retailers

SS MicrosoftPowerBI imageTo create effective marketing and personalization strategies that align with customer desires, retailers need to leverage the power of data. According to a Microsoft-sponsored IDC study, retailers have the opportunity to gain $94 billion from the “data dividend” through the next four years.

Microsoft’s Power Business Intelligence (Power BI) suite is designed to enable retailers to visualize data and give employees access to insights that can drive deeper customer engagement and loyalty through differentiated customer experiences. Combined with the Microsoft SQL Server platform, Power BI provides real-time access to enterprise data — whether it’s sales trends micro-segmented by demographics and geography, or predictive modeling for accurate forecasting.


Capitalizing On Retail Big Data

Dolphin head shotIncreasingly, retailers are collecting large volumes of transaction data at the point of sale. This data makes pinpointing consumer behavior easier than ever, as retailers obtain real time data about consumer preferences, whether it is the latest fashion trend, a hot new food item, or packaged good.

With Big Data, retailers have the ability to stay on top of the competition and respond quickly to consumer demands. But point-of-sale transactions aren’t the only source of Big Data. Retail supply chains and internal processes are also generating large volumes of data. If retailers want to succeed in a competitive marketplace, they must not only collect retail data, they must also understand how to control it.

As more retail companies grow through mergers and acquisitions, expand into new territories, or launch new product lines, they must consider how data and processes work together to support the businesses’ near term and long term goals. Here we present some simple rules that retailers can follow to help them capitalize on the valuable data they have while staying in control.


Cutie Pie Photo Studio Sees Success In A Snap With Pose POS System

Cloud-based POS solutions provide retailers with the tools and features they need to become more agile and responsive to customer demands. 

Cutie Pie Photo Studio, a small business based in Wisconsin, has improved back-end efficiencies and captured a more comprehensive view of the business since implementing the cloud-based POS solution from Pose.


In The Wake Of The Target Fiasco, Where Retailers Need To Focus Data-Security Efforts

VP site only BeachheadThe massive breach of Target's data security systems in late 2013 surprised many customers who have come to take the safety of electronic transactions for granted. To insiders following consumer data theft, however, it came as less of a revelation. To them, the Target breach merely served as a painful reminder of the relative weakness of data security systems in the American retail industry. As retailers have expanded their operations across a broader variety of platforms, they have too often neglected to establish necessary safeguards on the information transmitted across those platforms. Where customers see greater convenience, sophisticated hackers see new opportunities.


The Value Of Retail Data Scientists

VP site only FeedzaiAs the cliché goes, "data is the new gold" and many companies have realized this. The reason is, as the world generates more and more data and at the same time, competition between organizations is fiercer and faster, and as habits change faster, everyone wants an extra edge. Intuition, gut feeling or common sense rules are useful, but not enough. Data lets organizations understand clients, products and processes much better.

This is not just for web companies. For example, Rolls Royce has data scientists analyzing airplane engines data to determine when to schedule maintenance, L’Oreal, the cosmetics company, has data scientists studying the effect of several cosmetics on several types of skins, Fruition Sciences precisely determines when and how much to water grapes to produce better wines, FiveThirtyEight forecasts elections better than most, and Feedzai detects payment fraud. All this, and more, is just possible with data driven decisions.


Four IT Trends Dominate The Retail Industry

RR SAP imageFour broad technology trends — Big Data, social media, seamless retailing and disruptive technologies — significantly impacting the ways retailers conduct business and engage with consumers, according to a research report from SAP.

The SAP report, titled: Top IT Trends In Retail, analyzes the four trends and provides explanations of their importance and roles in the retail industry.


SMEs Focus On Digital Innovation As They Expand Worldwide

RR SMEs imageSmall- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are finding global success in light of increasing competition and an ever-changing technological ecosystem.

SMEs that earn more than 40% of their revenue outside of their home countries will increase by 66% over the next three years, according to research from Oxford Economics. The number of organizations operating in six or more countries also will increase by 129% over the same period of time.

The research report, titled: SMEs: Equipped To Compete, aggregated insights from 2,100 SMEs across 21 countries. Retailers represented 17% of the SMEs surveyed, while wholesalers represented 16%.


Journeys Gets A Leg Up On Competitors With ShopperTrak

Although e-Commerce sales are on the rise, many consumers still prefer visiting brick-and-mortar stores to touch and feel products before making a final decision. In fact, 21% of U.S. shoppers plan to increase in-store spending, up from just 9% in 2012, according to Accenture research

Journeys is taking note of consumers’ ongoing desire to shop in stores by continually investing more in improving the brick-and-mortar experience. Most recently, Journeys announced its implementation of ShopperTrak, which will enable the footwear and apparel retailer to measure store traffic and optimize labor scheduling, leading to more positive browsing and buying journeys. Following a successful testing period in 18 locations, Journeys will install the solution in all stores by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

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