Center Stage: Big Data
A major portion of the BI is solely dedicated in understanding the Big Data and this understanding is on the rise with the help from the retail industry with more and more retailers utilizing the systems capable of monitoring and reporting the data and related statistics.
A very recent survey shows that 54 percent of the retailors were able to boost their 2014 revenues by investing in data analytics which has helped them in making better buying decisions and the remaining 26 percent are already planning to invest in the data analytics in 2016 in order to make better decisions.
BI Solutions: How can retailors leverage them?
In regard to BI solutions, they go way beyond personalization and better product buying. In fact, BI solutions can help the retailors in providing the better customer service, improve supply chain management, reducing costs, better staff management and improving the return on investment.
Retailors are under heavy pressure to improve products and increase sales. Initially, it was believed that product is the center and if you will create a good product with reasonable price and put it in from of the customers they will buy it. But with the passage of time in today’s economy the customer has become the center assuming its rightful place and now everything revolves around him and BI helps retailors in providing better customer service and support by studying them and not by studying the product.
Data analytics is important foster better communication between the company and its stakeholders for finding out the weak links and discrepancies and repairing them. BI solutions also help in visualizing the shopping offers which are preferable to the customers from time to time. They can even help in determining which two pair of products have the high probability of selling together and is known as Association Analysis. For example: Buys (X, “computer”) → buys (X, “software”)
Challenges and inhibitors
Applying the data analytics has some challenges involved because retailors want to play rapid “catch up” with the consumers. The key to analyzing and reporting the data correctly lies in understanding this customer.
According to the reports the main challenge in expanding the use of BI remains these customers and top three out of several challenges are listed below.
1. Understanding the consumers path to purchase
2. Changes in consumer trends and demand and the need to react accordingly and fast.
3. Competitor using the same customer information to gain more wallets and trust of the consumer.
When it comes to applying the better use of BI there are few inhibitors which prevent the implementation of the technology and top three of them are:
1. Extracting the data
2. Budget constraints
3. Limited understanding of using non-transactional data.
These inhibitors provide interesting insight which shows that retailors have more than sufficient data to understand the need of the customer and to analyze their internal functions. The real challenge lies in managing and understanding the data which exist in both structured and unstructured form.
Related: The Big Data Science: Using Your Endless Data as an Asset
Making Big Data Actionable
For retailors in order to optimize their ROI they need to understand that what kind of BI they need to employee in order to handle the data (structured and unstructured) if they want to optimize their performance in the interest of users and consumes.
More than ever retailors now need a strategy for how and where they store their data in order to make it available for analytics easily. One cannot expect to have data everywhere and expect the BI to leverage the data in the interest of the organization.
Organized data is a major ingredient in making the actionable use of the Big Data and Business Intelligence.