Do retailers need better business intelligence tools or a better analytic strategy?

Most retailers still use Excel for data analysis. Looking back to the days of Business Objects, Cognos and Brio, many tried business intelligence software with the promise of doing something more valuable than what is possible with a spreadsheet — make better decisions.

Despite this, shelfware conversations were rampant in those days. It’s fascinating how even today most companies report struggles with data analysis. Managers say: It’s too hard; The right data is not available; IT has to be involved, and they are intractable; Aggregated data just tells you what happened — not what’s going to happen or what you should do about it; We can’t take action on our analysis. Human nature may be at work here. Expectations escalate in relationship to how well a manager leverages analytics to improve performance. Analytic excellence also depends a lot on information architecture. So maybe IT is at fault?

Author: Gib Bassett

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