Optimized-BIR is the outcome of years of constantly improving a Retail-ready BI product. It packages everything required by Retailers to provide business benefits – one that will finally provide a measurable Return on Investment (RoI) on your BI Investment.
Technically, Optimized-BIR is a “BI-in-a-Box” Analytics solution, which includes an ETL Tool, a Datawarehouse, a multi-dimensional OLAP Cubes layer, a user-friendly Reporting & Dashboarding interface, and an exhaustive library of ready Analytics Use Cases.
What makes this extremely relevant, is that each of the building blocks is specifically architected for Retailers ONLY! The technology is not the innovation, but rather, just the means to deliver Retail specific value addition!
It provides all of the following features in a single-box solution:
- Availability and Assurance of Data
- Simplicity of Discovery – Self-Service Analysis
- Retail Analytics – Industry Best-Practices
- Exception Alerts – the answer to Mailbox Flooding
- Action through Workflow Automation
- User Centricity – Making it work
Availability and Assurance of Data :
“All truths are easy to understand, once they are discovered. The point is, to discover them! ”
– Galileo Galilei, Inventor of the Telescope
Half of the effort in getting the right report goes in compiling data manually from different sources. This manual effort takes time, and is prone to human error.
Optimized-BIR will ensure that refreshed and updated Data is available to you, first thing every morning! And… accurate, reliable data, because human error is eliminated!
BIRetail’s proprietary ETL tool, viz. BIConnect, helps to rapidly configure the mapping of data from all the disparate Data Sources of the Retailer. This is a one-time exercise by specifying the rules for collating data from these disparate sources.
BIRetail further automates the continual fetch of incremental data and populate this into BIRetail’s standard Retail Datawarehouse. Therefore data is refreshed with zero human intervention.
From the Datawarehouse, BIRetail’s library of OLAP Cubes are refreshed automatically. These cubes are the source of fast-responsive reports and dashboards.
If there are any ad-hoc data sources which have not been automated through BIConnect, you can yourself bring that data into any existing Report or Dashboard very easily.
Simplicity of Discovery – Self-Service Analysis :
“Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right Question! ”
Seeing data as a Report is not the end objective. In fact, that is the trigger to start a root-cause analysis, if any anomaly is seen in that report.
Optimized-BIR will enable business users to intuitively drill into issues, and get to the next level of detail step-by-step, to finally identify the true cause of the problem seen in the Report.
As an example…
Consider a Store-wise Sales Report for last month, compared with Sales same month last year. If one store has a negative growth, you can drill into that store, to identify Categories and even Product styles, which have been the cause of slow sales in that Store.
Further, you can bring in cross-functional data like Stock numbers, Inward and Outward Inventory movement figures, as well as PO and Transfer Requisition information. This helps in finally narrowing down to the failure point in the system.
Retail Analytics – Industry Best-Practices :
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself! ”
– Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the USA
There are a million permutations of reports, and each permutation would help to improve the business in a different way. However, to discover each of these reports would take many lifetimes, and that is why Retailers get restricted value from their BI Solution.
BIRetail is constantly accumulating learnings from Retailers worldwide, on how specific Use Cases helped them solve their problems. This “Collective Intelligence” is brought into the library of Use Case offerings of Optimized-BIR, so that you get access to industry best practices in Retail Analytics.
The Business Value-addition from Optimized-BIR ranges from data-enriched unique Retail KPIs, Early Exceptions, Workflows, Decision Support Systems and Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics.
Exception Alerts – the answer to Mailbox flooding :
” Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it! ”
Your mailboxes are flooded every morning, by Reports auto-emailed to you from your current Reporting system. Each of these reports averagely have 100 rows by 15 columns, and you are struggling to find a needle in a haystack. Most likely, you ignore these reports, because of Information Overload.
Optimized-BIR provides options to specify Exception conditions on any combination of metrics for every report created. The report will be triggered ONLY when the exception is detected, and the report will be restricted to those rows of data for which this exception was detected. Also, you can specify “Inference Rules” which will run against each row of data in a report, and will display the specified Action Category. This helps to quickly determine actions to be carried, rather than manually scanning through each row to decide action points.
Consider an Aged Stock Report, which lists all Brands and within Brands, all the Merchandise Categories (MC). For each MC, it lists the Revenue, Sales Contribution to Total, and the Aged Stock %.
This report can easily run into hundreds of rows for a Retailer. Reviewing such a lengthy report requires you to see each row and based on the permutation of Sales Contribution and Aged Stock %, decide what action to be done on that MC.
Optimized-BIR allows you to easily configure the rules of such Action. e.g., you can specify that if the Aged Stock % is less than 5% and the Sales Contribution is more than 10%, then RETAIN. If the Aged Stock % is less than 5% and the Sales Contribution is less than 10% then RECALL. If the Aged Stock % is greater than 40% then REINVENT. And so on…
Also, your Exception Report can be configured to only show rows where the Action is set to RECALL or REINVENT, so that all the rows marked for RETAIN are removed from the report. This makes the report succinct and therefore easily actionable.
Action through Workflow Automation :
“The world cares very little about what a man knows. It is what a man is able to do, that counts ”
– Booker Washington, adviser to US President Roosevelt
The most logical thing to do at the end of any Report Analysis, is to recognize the root-cause, and to prescribe an action to set right the problem. The person discovering the problem needs to inform the right agents to carry out certain actions to rectify the same. There are delays and loss of translation, and the agent may be busy with multiple things to do, because of which some of these actions get missed out.
Optimized-BIR is the only known BI tool which provides you to “write-back” on the same interface where you discovered the root cause. You can prescribe action on the Optimized-BIR interface, and redirect such action to an appropriate person, which can be delivered as an email or even a mobile notification. Further, agents can be reminded of such actions if not yet carried out, and can even serve to escalate to the hierarchy, upon repeated non-compliance.
Consider an example where you were reviewing the slow growth of a Store, and discovered that one of the top selling Categories is constantly running out of stock in that Store. When you mapped the same Category across the stores, you noticed that some stores in the same cluster were not selling this Category as well, and therefore had idle stock lying in those stores.
Logically, you would want to trigger an Action to transfer this idle stock from one store to the top selling store. Now, you can specify this action directly on the same screen where you discovered this imbalance, and specify the From and To Stores, as well as the Quantity to transfer.
Optimized-BIR can trigger a series of steps as a workflow when you specify this action. First, it will send an email to the Store Managers of each store, informing them to carry out the Transfer Out, and to receive this Transfer In. If so customized, Optimized-BIR can also directly integrate with your ERP solution, to auto-create an “Inter-branch Transfer” transaction in the system.
Further, in 24 hours, if the Transfer out is not initiated, it can send a reminder to the Store Manager again, with a copy to the next-in-line escalation hierarchy.
User Centricity – Making it work :
“A simple lock should not require instructions! ”
– Donald Normal, Director of The Design Lab, UC San Diego
All the features that Optimized-BIR promises, would be a waste, if the Business Users in your organization are not going to use this solution hands-on. If a Report takes two minutes to open, and if the usage requires high technical training, these will ensure that the BI Solution is abandoned sooner than a blink.
Optimized-BIR ensures blazing speed of reporting, even at large volume of data. Our claim is of an “under 7 seconds” response time. Also, we require a crisp two hour training program for non-technical users, to get them at a usage level of 85% of the common features of Optimized-BIR.