Benefits of Business Intelligence in Retail

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Initial Proposal for Dissertation Topic

Topic: Benefits of Business Intelligence in the Retail sector: A Case Study of three companies done in Delhi & NCR. Background:

What is Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence (BI) is the process of gathering enough of the right information in the right manner at the right time, and delivering the right results to the right people for decision-making purposes so that it can continue to yield real business benefits, or have a positive impact on business strategy, tactics, and operations in the enterprises. Business intelligence is a well-established and generally well-known software category that spans a wide range of functional capabilities. Business Intelligence systems are one step above knowledge management systems. Although sspecific definitions will vary from customer to customer and vendor to vendor, but most will agree that business intelligence typically refers to the challenge of providing business users with meaningful information from company data sources to help those users make better, more informed business decisions. BI applications include activities of online analytical processing (OLAP), decision support systems (DSS), data warehousing and data mining. Business Intelligence includes the following functions:

Collecting and refining information from many sources
Analyzing and presenting the information in useful ways
Enabling people to make better business decisions

Importance of the Study:
Retail Companies have to answer key questions every day. What impact do price changes have on buying behaviour? Is the supply chain aligned with consumer demand? Though companies have the data that could answer these questions few properly leverage all of their resources. A company needs to first extract tangible information and then to make sure it gets into the right hands. To effectively and efficiently run the business a company must convert their data into knowledge. At the core, a company’s problems in executing stem from improper use of data due to lack of visibility. A strategic Business Intelligence platform puts the right information in the right hands at the right time, and gives managers and executives the ability to test various scenarios for business spending and investments while monitoring important operational drivers of company performance.

Problem Statement:

Management information is the lifeblood of any business, but some businesses have more complex needs than others. Retail, in particular, presents complex issues and challenges to providers and consumers of business intelligence software. In this dissertation, I want to take a look at what it is about retail that makes it unique and identify some of the challenges faced by retailers in the successful adoption of business intelligence techniques and systems. First and foremost, retail presents a complex multidimensional problem. Most business users will identify with analyzing data according to time, cost centre and product or service. Retail is special though in having to cope with thousands of SKUs across hundreds of outlets. In addition to this, retailers constantly measure themselves against not just budget but against last year and last week, and they are also addicted (often due to internal pressure) to “like for like” analysis. As technology allows it, managers are also increasingly starting to demand near real-time analysis. The volumes of data that these requirements need to support meaningful analysis can be quite staggering. The major issues faced by retailers are:

Problems of Scale
Fast-Moving Environment
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
The Collaborative Power of BI
Data readiness, information output need, information access norms and preparing the user for the change.

Objectives of the Study:
This paper focuses on the functional aspects of BI from a business point of view. It is not too much about how BI...
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