Business intelligence takes up retail role

Nearly every industry has some place for business intelligence. This is due to two factors converging. The first is a trend toward more information types becoming available for access and use, with algorithms and storage processes improving. The second is the general digitization of every field imaginable, with an increasing number of simple processes being handled through IT channels and thus automatically generating data points. Now, it seems pertinent to note situations where BI does not apply rather than those where it does, because the latter have simply become that numerous. Throughout the worldwide move toward more analytics use, a few particular industries have stood tall: retail is among them.

The future of retail
Retail Customer Experience contributor and consultant Narendra Sastry recently explained the next step for highly connected BI solutions that retailers are embracing today. Sastry stated that companies can combine data from many different sources to create reports about consumer behavior and tailor the experience they offer to customers based on that input. In ideal cases, stores will be able to act on these signals while the shopper in question is physically in the store. This evolution of the concept will turn analytics from a strategic concern to a tactical one, allowing leaders to maximize the impact of their decisions at an individual level.

Sastry gave a quick overview of present-day retail optimization tactics while hinting at the next step, explaining that the loyalty cards issued by businesses can generate a stream of consumer information that tells retailers a great deal about preferences and activity. In this sense, stores have been ahead of other industries for some time. These plans have been in place for years in some cases, proving that retail owners were early believers in the power of data collection, or at least demonstrating an extremely helpful combination of circumstances. Expanding upon this source of insight may be the next step.

The future of BI
Becoming a leader in the retail field may be as simple as using information better than competitors. One good pivot at the right time could put a company ahead of the game in an industry where being the first to make a breakthrough is a huge advantage. This is where products such as Necto 14 come in, allowing firms to spread business intelligence beyond their IT department and put the solutions in the hands of a wide range of employees. Now, with the ability to generate powerful insights spread throughout many parts of the company, great insights can proliferate.

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