Data-Driven Insights

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Data-Driven Insights

By Nicole Giannopoulos - 05/02/2012
Many retailers recognize that business analytics and business intelligence offer a wealth of opportunities, but they also realize that it is difficult to pull out these data-driven insights and distribute them throughout the enterprise.

Business analytics, applications that perform statistical and quantitative analysis, and business intelligence, applications that report analytical findings, are critical to success in many areas of the retail enterprise.

In this month’s RetailScape we focus on vendors that offer business analytics and business intelligence solutions as well as highlight retailers that have deployed them in the marketplace.

Recognizing Benefits
Save Mart uses 1010data for market basket analysis, research for finance and bookkeeping, shrink monitoring from loss prevention and measuring and analyzing promotions. 1010data has also helped the retailer uncover loss prevention issues and improve efficiencies with ad hoc reporting.

“Ever since we went live with 1010data, we have continued to add more sources of data to derive incremental value for our business,” said Aashish Chandra, senior director of IT for Save Mart.

Evaluating Business Ideas
AutoZone will use the Test & Learn Management System from APT to assist in evaluating strategic initiatives across all major functional areas. The retailer piloted the software to test the value of various initiatives in marketing, merchandising, pricing, store operations, loss prevention, store development and programs targeting commercial business customers. AutoZone joins top retailers including Lowe’s, Walgreens and Publix who have licensed Test & Learn to evaluate new business ideas.

Macy’s Saves $500K
To measure and understand the impact of its online marketing initiatives on Macy’s store sales, increased its analytical capabilities with SAS Enterprise Miner, resulting in a 20% reduction of e-mail subscription churn. The retailer is also using SAS to automate report generation, saving more than $500,000 a year in comp analyst time.

The platform also helps to create a variety of mission-critical reports that go to employees in marketing and finance. These data-rich reports were taking analysts four to 12 hours to produce — much of it busy work that involved cutting and pasting from Excel spreadsheets.

With SAS automating the reports, “this cuts the time dramatically,” said   Kerem Tomak, vice president of analytics for “It saves us more than $500,000 a year,” he added, noting that the savings began within three months of installing the solution.

Managing Complex Queries
Using Teradata Active Data Warehouse, Target effectively manages complex user queries on large data volumes in a mixed workload environment across its entire enterprise of 1,767 stores across the U.S. and The high performance analytical capabilities it will gain will quickly provide detailed insight and business value.


The chart below is a comparison guide of product specifications and functionalities in a specific category to help retailers begin their search for vendors in the RFP process. The chart is not a comprehensive resource. Please visit vendor web sites for further information.
Company Name/Web Site
Solution Description
Key Clients
1010data is a cloud-based SaaS big data platform that drives improved promotional, supply chain, and operational efficiencies. Delivers insights from datasets more quickly, easily and inexpensively than other solutions. • Dollar General
• Save Mart
• Vitamin Shoppe
Strategic Analytics provides an indispensable analytic solution for enterprise and SMB companies making critical decisions about how to expand and grow. A nimble analytics provider, it takes an innovative approach in the strategic analytics and business intelligence markets. • AT&T
• Walmart
• Comcast Spotlight
Applied Predictive Technologies
Test & Learn enables executives to understand the true cause-effect relationship between any pricing, marketing, CapEx, or operations initiative and key performance metrics. • Lowe's
• Abercrombie & Fitch
• Staples
IBM Netezza
IBM® Netezza® Data Warehouse enables merchandising reporting and store operations analysis, customer loyalty segmentation and marketing promotion optimization. Provides better information to track sales, manage inventory, understand customers and plan assortments. • Burlington Coat Factory
• Michaels Stores
• Guitar Center, Inc.
Manthan Systems
ARC Retail Analytics solutions span the entire spectrum of retail decision making, delivering role-tailored, advanced guided analytics for merchandising, marketing, finance, and vendor management. • Crocs
• Kitchen Collection
• Ashley Stewart
Business Intelligence develops a 360° view of the customer (including merging existing CRM systems with social intelligence data), improving operating efficiency and the customer shopping experience through the use of mobile store operations BI, and improving sales and costs by reducing stock-outs and overstocks. • Guess, Inc.
• Whole Foods Market
• Lowe's Companies
MI9 Business Intelligence delivers in-depth analysis across merchandise, stores, customers, finance, and human resources –providing deeper and broader access. Interactive, role-based reports and actionable facts are readily accessible for merchandising, operations, sales audit, marketing, LP and inventory management. • Eileen Fisher
• Barneys New York
• Aubuchon Hardware
Business Intelligence Applications provide complete, realtime insight to users, enabling fact-based actions. Powered by Oracle BI Enterprise Edition Plus, a high-performance, scalable and reliable next generation business intelligence platform that can be used to meet any enterprise need. • Saks
• Belk
• Calvin Klein
Necto represents BI 3.0 solutions, connecting data, insights, and people in the organization. Includes dashboards/workboards, analytics, social BI, automated relevant insights, mobile BI, integration with Microsoft Office/ SharePoint, and works on top of any data source. • Saks Fifth Ave
• Office Depot
• Sony
RetailMetrix encompasses 60+ metrics, KPIs and reports to provide insights across sales, orders, inventory, merchandising, finance and customer performance. • Party City
• Car Toys
• Timbuk2
Predictix Suite is designed for the big data power and flexibility of the cloud, achieving up to 50% more accurate, merchandising decisions than traditional solutions. Predictix unifies previously siloed processes and evolves to meet retailers’ needs. • Harrods
• Carhartt
• M.Video
Profitect Suite
Profitect Suite helps global retailers increase revenue and profits based on advanced, pattern-seeking algorithms. The solution helps retailers identify profit and growth throughout the retail supply chain and provide actionable solutions with end-to-end visibility for retailers. • Abercrombie & Fitch
• Marks and Spencer
• Morrison's
Decision Orchestration Platform, powered by Q Tag™ technology, combines business intelligence with industry best practices to ensure the most profitable merchandising and store operations decisions. • Foot Locker
• Urban Outfitters
• Casual Male Retail Group
RetailNext (formerly BVI Networks)
RetailNext is the leader in real-time in-store measurement, enabling retailers and manufacturers to collect, analyze, and visualize in-store data. Analyzes how internal and external factors impact customer shopping patterns and the ability to identify opportunities for growth, execute changes, and measure success. • Family Dollar
• American Apparel
• Brookstone
BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation (BPC) is a unified application that brings order to business planning processes with a sophisticated, secure and process-centric application for long term planning, budgeting and forecasting. • Under Armour
• Brown Shoe
• Ace Hardware
SAS for Retail provides customer insight, localized assortment optimization, size profiling and pack optimization, price optimization, merchandise planning, and high-performance analytics. Provides software and services across market segments including apparel, fashion, grocery, specialty retail, general merchandise, online and hardlines retail. • Macy's
• Chico's FAS
Active Enterprise Data Warehouse delivers real-time intelligence by enabling active data warehousing, puts vital information to front-line decision makers, extends traditional data warehouse functionality and combines strategic and operational workloads into a single data warehouse. • Target
• Belk
• Home Depot