Business Intelligence

Mobile Business Intelligence – Point of Sales Analytics

The insights provided by Visionet’s solution helped store management re-arrange and manage their shelves according to customer’s buying trends.

Challenge:

A leading global consumer goods supply chain and retail company, head quartered in the USA with over 500 stores worldwide, was interested in leveraging its existing data warehouse for enhancing the performance and visibility of it store operations. The need was to provide business insights to nearly all stake holders on their desktops as well on the contemporary mobile devices (like iPad, iPhone etc.). The intended users included executing management, mid-level store operations managers, merchandizers, store managers and staff with the intent to help them increase their performance and meet the required targets by providing them with needed information accurately and with agility. The company management was also seeking ways to optimize the operational capacity by sharing the right information in a timely manner. In the existing scenario, the data warehouse information access was limited to the head office managers and staff only and there was a significant delay in availability of this information to store managers and their staff.

Solution:

Mobile Business Intelligence Store - Screenshot 1Visionet’s business intelligence consulting team took the task and started off with thorough analysis. During this phase alternative solutions were compared in context of customer needs and Visionet recommended implementing the solution using Microstrategy as BI technology platform.

In order to jumpstart the process, working sessions were conducted with key business stake holders in a methodical way to gather their requirements and to convey an understanding of the technology capabilities. As result of these sessions, the improved understanding of technology tremendously helped the users in conceiving creative ideas and resulting in formulation of requirement that made the best use of available technology features. The required metrics were identified which were critical in day to day business operations and around these metrics, useful report documents were built.
Mobile Business Intelligence Store - Screenshot 2Since each store requires only its own slice of data and without being connected to the BI tool, Microstrategy’s Narrow Cast server was also used to carry out this operation. Each store manager and the designated staff were configured in the Narrow Cast Server repository and the required information/reports they needed to look at. Narrow Cast server engine performed analysis on the data warehouse and created the report documents in pdf/excel format.

These report documents were sent to each store staff daily in the morning at their email addresses. Visionet team also developed a set of hierarchical and secure dashboards for catering to the needs of executive as well store management. Mobile Business Intelligence Store - Screenshot 3These dashboards turned out to be a major success due to highly interactive mobility enabled features and availability on iPad and iPhone.

With these new capabilities, each store manager started receiving his store details at a glance on daily basis which included the sales, inventory, actual versus target and other operational metrics directly from the system. In the past, users had to wait until all this information was manually compiled by pulling data from multiple reports and sources.

Executive management as well as store managers also had the need for interactive access to data for quick and speedy analysis. The company was already using Microsoft SharePoint to collaborate and documents company wide. Visionet conducted the analysis and decided to use the same tool for providing the BI related information. Interfaces, reports and snapshots were deigned in Microstrategy and were embedded in Microsoft SharePoint portal sites. After integration with SharePoint portal, users were able to access collaborative sites along with the Business Intelligence information with greater ease.

Benefits:

The solution was very well received at the executives and other staff levels. As result of the project, store managers started getting their store sales and performance data on daily basis on the platform of their choice (desktop as well as mobile). Rich, analytical information and agile delivery helped the users stay dead focused on their targets and how well they were being achieved. All these details helped merchandizers and store operations staff in revisiting their sales, promotions and marketing strategies on an ongoing basis.

The insights provided by Visionet’s solution helped store management re-arrange and manage their shelves according to customer’s buying trends. Also, they got to know about the dead items and the space they were occupying. Overall the solution was a tremendous success and was perceived as a significant contributor for increasing the performance and productivity of retail store line of business.