STORES Magazine - May 2011 - (Page 23)

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE / COVER STORY BY SUSAN REDA, EDITOR J ust how real is the pressure retailers face to make sense of ever-growing mountains of data? IDC predicts that total data volume will reach 35,000 exabytes in 2020, compared with 1,200 exabytes last year. Ethnographer Elizabeth Lindsey dispenses with the numbers. “We live in a society bloated with data but starved for wisdom,” she says. Data is bombarding retailers from every conceivable directime gaining a more precise picture of customer behavior and tion. Most of it is structured (think sales data, CRM and lobuying patterns. A key trend cited by numerous retail experts gistics), but the explosion of social media tools like Facebook is the emergence of real-time analytics — championed by the and Twitter has created vast caches of unstructured data likes of SAS, Infor and FICO — that provides merchants with — everything from customer sentiment analysis to reviews, on-the-spot decision support. Real-time analytics has benefits videos and images — that exist that ripple across retail, from outside of retailers’ internal sysreal-time inventory to real-time “If a merchant sees a trend tems. The need to analyze and direct fulfillment and everything and is able to react to it before someone grasp the insights generated by in between. The most compelelse does, they gain the upper hand.” both types of data — and to unling advantage: Getting closer to — David Dorf, Oracle Retail derstand where the two intersect the customer. — is ushering in the next generation of business intelligence Real-time wins solutions. eal-time BI equals In the last eight months there first mover advanhas been a flurry of new BI retage,” says David leases. While the bigger players Dorf, senior director of technollook to push beyond the boundogy strategy for Oracle Retail. aries of an enterprise view, oth“It’s simple as that. If a merchant ers excel in one or two core areas sees a trend and is able to react like mobile or social media. to it before someone else does, For retailers, the goal is to use they gain the upper hand. RetailBI to provide more granular ers are now able to combine a insight into inventory planning data- and event-driven architecand execution, store operations ture with BI so that instead of and logistics, while at the same receiving a report on Monday “R WWW.STORES.ORG STORES / MAY 2011 23 http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - May 2011

STORES Magazine - May 2011
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Supply Chain
Getting Closer to Customers
Workforce Management
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Rewards
Human Resources
2011 Software Sourcebook Guide
Website Security
Divisional Update
NRF News
Point of View
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - May 2011