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Business Intelligence / Data / Analytics

In order to be successful in today’s omnichannel retail marketplace, merchants must collect information from numerous internal and external sources, then analyze that data. New solutions can help to optimize incoming data in order to deliver the business intelligence and analytics needed to move retail businesses successfully into the future. This section offers feature articles, special reports, industry viewpoints and the latest news to help retailers make sense out of the growing influx of information.

Hancock Fabrics Streamlines IT Operations With EarthLink

IT extends across numerous areas of the business, making it difficult for retailers to streamline their efforts under one department. However, retailers can simplify IT management and reduce costs if they partner with solution providers that have a vast menu of solutions and services.

Hancock Fabrics, which provides sewing and fabric items, has selected several business solutions from EarthLink to simplify infrastructure operations throughout the company via a secure managed network. The company will implement the solutions in all of its 262 retail locations across the U.S., and expects the deployment to reduce overall IT-related costs by 20%.

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Orchestro Secures $9.8 Million Funding

orchestroOrchestro, a provider of demand analytics solutions, has closed a $9.8 million funding round led by Novak Biddle Venture Partners. All existing Orchestro investors, including CNF Investments and New Markets Venture Partners, also participated in the round.

With the funding, Orchestro aims to expand its sales and marketing efforts, capture increased demand in the value of “click-and-mortar” analytics and grow its footprint within mid-tier CPG companies and brands in emerging markets.

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Oracle Acquires Datalogix To Enhance Data Cloud Offerings

Oracle-Datalogix logosOracle has reached an agreement to acquire Datalogix, a consumer data collection company that positions retailers and other B2C companies to connect offline consumer spending to their digital marketing initiatives. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Once completed, Datalogix will combine with the Oracle Data Cloud to enhance its Data as a Service (DaaS) offerings. Both companies will continue to operate independently until the transaction is finalized.

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Cloud Computing Adoption Spurs Business Transformations

Four out of five (81%) business executives believe cloud computing has given them a competitive advantage over their rivals and has helped them react more quickly and effectively to change, according to a report sponsored by NetSuite.

For the study, titled: Disrupt, Collapse, Transform: The Role of the Cloud in Industry Transformation, global industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan surveyed 1,500 senior executives across multiple industry sectors in the U.S., Australia, Singapore, UK, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

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Will Big Data Kill Creative?

VP Vestcom head shotThe Internet was invented the same year we landed on the moon, at the close of a very tumultuous and difficult decade. It was the product of a Defense Department project, and it consisted mainly of email and data transfer for its first 20 years. In the early 1990s, the World Wide Web came about, and a sleeping giant awoke, forever changing the world as we knew it.

Since the very beginning, the Internet has been all about data. Bits turned to bytes, which grew by turns to megabytes, terabytes, then petabytes and zettabytes. Big Data, as it is now known, has arrived, and it continues to grow larger by the second. The ability to mine this data, extract insights from behaviors, and ultimately sell advertising space is the foundation for Google, Facebook and the web itself. Without advertising, we wouldn’t have the web we have today.

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The Data Cycle: The Role Of Analytics In Cross-Channel Campaigns

VP site only HelloWorld head shotAs the digital landscape continues to expand, retail brands are presented with more opportunities than ever to interact with consumers across channels and gather valuable insights along the way.

In a world where data begets data, the most potent campaigns are powered by cross-channel initiatives, which allow consumers to move seamlessly across social channels and experience brand messaging in a way that’s consistent and familiar.

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Predictive Modeling Brings Holiday Cheer To Retailers

VP site only Clarabridge head shotBlack Friday — the Super Bowl of the retail industry — has come and gone, but holiday shopping is just getting started. November and December combined are two crucial and competitive months for retailers — and the good news is that the National Retail Federation expects sales during that period to increase 4.1% year over year, bringing total sales to $616.9 billion and dwarfing the 3.1% increase during the same time last year.
 
One way retailers can make the most out of the holiday shopping season is to ensure their company is up-to-date with the latest analytics technology. Making customers happy — and, in turn, making them buy — is imperative to a successful and cheerful holiday season. Luckily, data about social media sentiment, call center feedback, survey responses, buyer behavior, sales and more, hold clues as to what’s needed for a successful season — from the right marketing campaigns to the best product mixes and everything in between.
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Retailers Improve Customer Retention And Merchandising With BI Tools

FEAT BI imageIn today’s retail climate, merchants are encouraged to gather as much data as they possibly can to understand the internal and external strengths and weaknesses of their company. Retail organizations face the high-pressure challenges of optimizing supply chain and inventory management, all while attempting to be more customer-centric and drive shopper loyalty.

By leveraging business intelligence (BI) solutions, retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite and Oberweis Dairy can analyze a variety of data points and convert them into actionable insights that improve decision-making processes and performance across all channels.

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IDC Releases Retail IT Predictions For 2015

IDCRetailRetailers must continually implement new technologies designed to provide the best experience for both shoppers and company employees. To help merchants down that road, IDC Retail Insights shared its Top 10 Decision Imperatives for 2015 and beyond. Each imperative includes four parts and correspond with predictions for the several years as outlined by Greg Girard, Program Director at IDC Retail Insights during a web conference:

  1. The imperative itself, or the action to be taken to achieve a desired business outcome;
  2. IT impacts, actions and consequences;
  3. Specific practical advice provided by IDC technology experts; and
  4. Drivers and external factors that bring attention to the decision.
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Data-Driven Retailers Turn To BI Solutions For Optimal Decision Making

FEAT BI imageCompetition in the retail industry is increasing at a rapid rate, with the customer now in more control of the buyer-seller relationship. Because of this more competitive landscape, retailers need every edge they can get in understanding their own business’ strengths and weaknesses.

Retailers such as Coach, Diamond Candles, Groupe Dynamite, Oberweis Dairy are taking the initiative by implementing Business Intelligence (BI) solutions that are designed to help businesses make sense of information resulting from different processes throughout the company. The more information retailers can collect, analyze and understand about various areas of their organization, the easier it is for team members — from the C-level to the store associate — to make proper business decisions and achieve the goals they have in place.

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How Predictive Analytics Enables Efficient Omnichannel Retailing

VP site only Retalon head shotIn the past five years, huge changes in the retail technology landscape have revolutionized customer behaviors and expectations. Consumers are increasingly moving online to make purchases, and this trend is only going to become more significant. Online sales have increased the past four quarters, reaching $75 billion in the second quarter of 2014. And as pure e-Commerce retailers like Amazon have gained momentum, brick-and-mortar retailers are being forced to re-think and re-design their online channels.

As the number of online and mobile shoppers is increasing, so are customers’ demands. If a consumer can’t find the right product through the sales channel that they choose (be it a physical store, mobile shopping, or online) or even the right size or color, they will go to your competitor before you can even pick up the phone to call a neighboring store to check their inventory.

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Noerr Programs Spreads Holiday Cheer With Seasonal Pop-Ups

Pop-up shops have become a mainstay in the retail industry, with businesses of all sizes opening up locations throughout the year.

Some retailers rely on pop-ups as a core part of their businesses. Noerr Programs, for example, provides pop-ups in regional shopping centers around Christmas and Easter. Due to its growing success, Noerr Programs has even experimented with other holiday-themed shops around Halloween and even Shark Week.

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Epicor Acquires QuantiSense

1epicor-quantisense
Epicor Software Corporation
has announced that it will acquire QuantiSense, a provider of cloud-based and on-premise analytic solutions for the retail industry. The deal is expected to close on Oct. 31, 2014. 

With the purchase of privately owned QuantiSense, Epicor will be able to expand its range of solutions for midsize and large chains, adding advanced retail analytics and business intelligence to its retail portfolio.

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SAP Partners With IBM To Expand Cloud Services

sap ibm logo
SAP 
has selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business applications. With the partnership SAP aims to accelerate customers' ability to run their businesses in the cloud. 

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is now available through the IBM cloud, allowing the company to expand into new markets, domestically and globally. 

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