Study: Retailers see data value, many struggle with BI strategy

Walnut Creek, Calif. – Retailers are most likely to use data for planning, but a majority of retailers do not have a long-term enterprise business intelligence (BI) strategy in place that meets their needs. According to a new study from RSR Research, “Retail Analytics Moves to the Frontline,” 57% of retailers think planning and executing more effectively is a top use of data, followed by managing customer relationships (47%) and reporting results of business activities (44%).

However, only 42% of respondents said they have had an enterprise BI strategy in place for more than two years and are satisfied it meets their needs, and 15% are still working on putting one in place. Another 18% have had an enterprise BI strategy for more than two years but are rethinking it, and a combined 13% put it at low, very low or no priority. Twelve percent have had a strategy in place less than two years.

Among all respondents, the top three business challenges to creating interest in expanding the use of BI/analytics are the need to understand the consumer’s path to purchase (55%), consumer expectations for instantaneous information access (49%) and information-empowered consumers being more demanding (47%).

Other interesting findings include that there is no clear leader in method used for reporting analysis.

Popular methods include using reporting functions built into operational systems (22%), extracting data from operational systems into spreadsheets (20%), a dedicated team of analysts using a high-performance BI toolset (17%), enterprise BI platform on top of a data warehouse (17%), built-in BI and analytics capabilities of existing tools (12%), and enterprise reporting tool for operational/financial reporting (11%).