Retail Business Intelligence

Retail business intelligence is a little bit of a separate play in the industry world for BI. While every industry and market is a little different, retail has its own sets of data requirements, metrics, and common analyses. Things like market basket analysis, set analysis, and other kinds of reports are more commonly seen with retailers. In addition to product analysis, is a focus on customer data, such as customer segmentation and customer value. Add to this, the increasing need of direct customer interaction, social media, and big data to handle it all, and the BI project ends up being large. Getting an industry specific solution can help cut down on the complexity, and having consultants who are knowledgeable about the industry is key for developing KPIs, visualizations and just understanding the business.

Over time, separate consulting and strategy firms have ended up partnering with BI vendors to offer a comprehensive solution that includes infrastructure specific to retailers. Quantisense, for example, has partnered with Microstrategy to offer its solution with out of the box reports, dashboards and even mobile apps. Oracle BI is another popular choice for other consulting firms. These companies end up building retail specific models on top of the base platform. Overall, though with partners and on its own, MicroStrategy is probably the market leader in this industry. In the US, most big retailers, with the notable exception of Wal-Mart, are on their platform.

Another notable independent is a smaller vendor called Pivotlink. They are unique in that they are a cloud based BI platform, and they also have some unique data storage technology to provide scalability and performance. They are a more recent player in the space, but have gotten some recent impressive funding and have captured a few good-sized retail clients and are looking to expand rapidly.

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