A New Year, Same Resolutions?

Retailers can make 2016 different!

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Happy New Year!  It is time to start 2016 off with a bang, which means a whole series of New Year’s resolutions in an effort to reinvent yourself for the better.  Right?  Sadly, while 2016 may bring a new set of resolutions, inevitably this year’s rendition will look a lot like New Year’s resolutions made in 2015 or 2006 or 1996.  Not surprisingly, it is estimated, “less than 50% of us pursue our resolutions beyond six months, 25% give up by the end of the first week, and 60% of us will make the exact same resolution next year”.  I guess life is challenging and full of distractions, which causes most of us to veer off course despite our best intentions.

New Year’s resolutions happen in the business world as well, and the retail calendar sets up perfectly for them.  Having lived inside retailers across the globe for the past decade or so, one of the most common resolutions I have heard is the strategic enterprise business intelligence initiative that is going to change how the business operates.  The merchants will no longer have to ask the planners to pull reports from Microsoft Access for them. The Store Operations folks will improve conversions, the supply chain team will have end-to-end order visibility, the marketing team will be able to tie a customer’s e-commerce behavior to the offers they are served, and IT will own the platform and ensure governance! 

Six months after the bold new business intelligence initiative is announced, nothing changes.  IT will be frantically preparing reports requested by the business, with constantly changing requirements, and the business will be working around the IT-architected reports with rogue Excel spreadsheets wrought with errors and flashy visualization tools with little governance.  I guess life in the retail world is challenging and full of distractions, which causes many retailers to veer off course despite their best intentions.

So how do retailers make a BI resolution that sticks?

  1. Tackle the Tough Use Case – Justify 2016's Business Intelligence initiative as a win for the company. For instance, how should you ship a product for the least amount of cost, via air or ocean, and still meet your service level agreement?  Clever charting on a spreadsheet will not empower your imports managers in how to ship profitably.  A sophisticated BI system that can handle multiple data sources on an enterprise class scale will.

  2. Make Money or Remove Cost – Increase basket size, improve sales conversions, decrease cart abandonment, target the right customers.  Business intelligence can do this, in particular around omni-channel initiatives that span different operational systems.  Think: buy online, pick up in-store, and then upsell your customer. 

  3. Work Quickly – Deliver solutions which tackle the tough use case and make the company money in weeks and months, not years.  Lengthy implementations will kill a business intelligence initiative before it even gets off the ground.

2016 can be different, so come join the party, see the whole story within your data, and find out why 1,100+ retailers have chosen Qlik for retail business intelligence!

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