Retailer launches head-on into BI deployment

A recent report from TechTarget recounted the head-first plunge Anna’s Linens, a national home furnishings retail chain, took with its business intelligence deployment.

The first thing the company did was create a department with the sole responsibility of handling its analytics. That, chief financial officer Neil Watanabe said, has made for more efficient reporting because the data is accessed more quickly and from the correct files.

So far, Watanabe told TechTarget the business intelligence solution has worked wonders for Anna’s Linens. The technology proved vital during the worst of the recession when the chain was looking to shutdown under-performing stores.

“We needed to look at our portfolio of stores and focus on profitability, ensuring that we were growing our business, not just through increasing units and increasing new stores, but by making the stores that we had more profitable,” he said.

The changing nature of the retail industry is driving more companies to adopt business intelligence for real-time analysis. Market changes now occur much faster than in years past because of the use of mobile devices and the internet by consumers to compare products.

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