SOURCE: PivotLink

PivotLink

November 30, 2010 08:00 ET

Intelligent Retailers Gain Visibility Into Key Business Drivers With New Analytics Approaches

Research Links Next Generation Business Intelligence Solutions to Better Customer Insights and Improved Business Performance

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - November 30, 2010) - Retailers aiming to improve sales and customer loyalty in a soft economy have discovered new analytical approaches that drive deeper insights into customer behavior, speed access to business information and empower customer-facing employees. A webinar with leading IT advisory firm Aberdeen Group offers an in-depth look into the growing adoption of Cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) software to address these retail business drivers. The event was hosted by PivotLink, the leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS). Access the session and case study presented by Macys.com at http://bit.ly/eq2PUw.

In "The Intelligent Retailer: Spreading Analytical Capability to Drive Results," Michael Lock, senior analyst, Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group, presented findings from the report, "Pervasive Retail Business Intelligence: Optimize Internal Performance for External Market Agility," including challenges facing brick and mortar and online retailers, such as:

  • Growing volumes and complexity of enterprise data
  • Employees require faster, more relevant information via business intelligence solutions
  • Difficulty capturing and maximizing the value of customer data
  • Accessibility of data and pervasiveness of analytics

In a live poll, Lock asked attendees to rank the biggest challenge they've seen, or expect to see, when deploying a BI solution. The majority of respondents (57%) indicated "Disparity/Complexity of Data."

Top 5 Barriers to Business Insights

According to Aberdeen's research, retailers are revamping their BI strategies and shifting away from traditional on-premise BI solutions in order to improve gross margins, return on net assets and customer retention. Aberdeen ranks the barriers based on a survey of 490 retail industry respondents:

1. Lack of visibility into departmental business drivers (43%)
2. Inadequate utilization of customer data (37%)
3. Decisions based on gut feel, not fact (34%)
4. Customers demand timely and accurate response to queries (30%)
5. Decision making is not aligned with corporate strategy (21%)

To address these challenges, Aberdeen recommends a comprehensive technology strategy that spans data collection, information assembly and insight delivery. Lock outlined the advantages of selecting SaaS BI platforms that power reports and dashboards for business users inside the company and across the extended enterprise. Aberdeen's research finds "Best-in-Class" consumer retailers that extend collaborative analytics to distributors, partners, logistics/transport providers and raw material/part suppliers gain a significant edge over "Average" and "Laggard" companies -- by a margin of 2-1 or greater in some categories. See other performance factors at http://bit.ly/eq2PUw.

Strategies of Best-In-Class Online Retailers

Guest speaker Jinny Uppal, director of Merchandise Analytics at Macys.com, presented practical tips to drive an effective business intelligence strategy by fostering collaboration between business users, IT/technology management and the development team. Uppal shared the benefits Macys.com achieved following their SaaS BI deployment, including:

  • Report development time reduced from 4 - 8 weeks down to under a day
  • Eliminated need to involve IT to create new versions/views of reports
  • Adoption of the new system to other business units and select users outside macys.com
  • Embarking on Phase 2 to enhance data availability and dashboard reporting

Uppal added, "Macys.com is looking to expand the usage of PivotLink to increase multichannel selling collaboration with our stores partners."

"The value of a metrics-based approach is reflected in the success of over 40 PivotLink retail customers like Macys.com and many others, from a party goods chain adding temporary stores for Halloween to online retailers like Timbuk2.com's popular messenger bags," said Rosanne Saccone, chief marketing officer, PivotLink. "Whether you're analyzing marketing campaigns to drive shopper demand this holiday season or fine-tuning inventory, the insights from PivotLink's platform and ReadiMetrix solutions are invaluable."

Get Started

Get Aberdeen's three tips to become a best-in-class retailer at http://bit.ly/eq2PUw.

Learn about PivotLink ReadiMetrix for Retail, a solution that combines over 60 KPIs, metrics and reports for retail business users in the video at www.pivotlink.com/products/readimetrix/readimetrix-for-retail

Engage with us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pivotlink, discuss new approaches to retail analytics at http://blog.pivotlink.com and read case studies and white papers at www.pivotlink.com.

About PivotLink Corporation

PivotLink is the leader in on-demand business intelligence, serving customers such as: REI; Novell; Party City; CamelBak Products; Car Toys; Guardian Home Care Holdings, Inc; Rossignol; Shaklee; Taleo and Zones. PivotLink's platform powers roughly 2,000,000 ad hoc reports and dashboards for more than 15,000 PivotLink users each month. Delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, PivotLink's award-winning solutions put affordable, secure and easy-to-use analytic tools into the hands of line of business users, freeing IT to focus on strategic business initiatives. PivotLink is a privately held company backed by Trident Capital, Emergence Capital Partners and StarVest Partners. Visit www.pivotlink.com.

PivotLink is a trademark of PivotLink Corporation. Other product and company names may be the trademarks of their respective owners. This press release is for informational purposes only and no offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities is made hereby. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to unknown risks and uncertainties and do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Actual results, performance or achievements of the company may differ materially from results, performance or achievements of the company expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

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