SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

May 04, 2010 11:00 ET

Enhanced Business Intelligence High on the Agenda for Top Performing Retailers

63% of Top Performing Retailers Are Turning to Pervasive Business Intelligence to Increase Consumer-Centric Data Accessibility

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 4, 2010) - In the face of slow consumer spend and a wave of increased multi-channel competition, retailers are under pressure to increase customer and business insight within their organization. Fifty three percent (53%) of top performing retailers have established an organization-wide business intelligence deployment procedure, and nearly two-thirds (61%) of these same out-performing retailers are prioritizing making business intelligence (BI) easier to use for all ends of the enterprise, according to the Aberdeen Group report, "Pervasive Retail Business Intelligence: Optimize Internal Performance for External Market Agility" The research from Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS) details the business benefits derived from upgraded business intelligence-based internal process optimization.

According to Aberdeen data, as a means to increase margins, overall revenue, and customer retention, top performing retailers are focusing on making BI tools easier to use, faster to access, and pervasive to all relevant internal departments. In fact, 58% of top retailers identified the need to improve speed of access to relevant business data. Additionally, fifty three percent (53%) of these same retailers have established an organization-wide BI deployment procedure. While Aberdeen data has revealed that just 28% of top retailers have deployed BI to the entire organization, the process is being put in place to prepare for BI rollout to all relevant points within the organization.

"In a challenging economy characterized by slow consumer trend, retailers are under pressure to focus on increased internal agility based on rapid decision-making," says Greg Belkin, chief author and Retail Business Intelligence analyst, Aberdeen. "However, retailers must be careful that related solutions are straightforward, provide timely and relevant insight, and are strategically inclusive of relevant organizational departments."

Aberdeen has found that top performing retail organizations are turning toward BI tools to embrace commerce-specific challenges. Fifty nine percent (59%) of top retailers are using BI tools to segment customers based on affinity, while 44% are using these same retailers are using BI to predict customer purchasing behavior, and 35% of these same retailers are using these tools to provide store-specific data. Despite these efforts, however, just 21% of top retailers are providing BI accessibility for customer-facing executives.

"Retailers are putting a commerce-centric focus on BI functionality, but full pervasiveness has yet to be realized," says Belkin. "BI tools are quantifying store-level operations, and identifying idea future customers, but customer-facing executives by and large do not have necessary access to these insights, which is an opportunity missed."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Netezza and SAP. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?spid=30410182&cid=6152&camp2.

For additional access to complimentary Retail Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/-retail

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company
Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

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