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Posts Tagged ‘business analytics’


Well, I have to admit. Using the retail sales of high heeled shoes to indicate growth or a downturn in the economy is bit out there. But after seeing IBM in the news this week, I decided to look into this a bit further.

And they are right; the height of high heels sold does provide an indicator of the current economic situation. In an economic downturn, data shows that the height of high heels goes up – evidently, women buy higher heels in an attempt to escape the reality of tough economic times. Surely, feeling better about yourself, feeling prettier, perhaps a bit of personal indulgence, does help one escape the feeling of being controlled (can’t escape a bad job), beaten down (unemployed), and even trodden upon financially (foreclosed).

I have spoken about retail analytics a number of times in recent months, and I have been using a graph to open my presentation that shows the rise and dramatic fall of U.S.consumer spending as a wake up call to those analytically inclined. Consumer spending is such a key part of the U.S.economy and the retail industry. And as I wrote about in one of my earliest blog posts, in good economic times, everyone makes money. But in these tough economic times with consumer spending at a similar level to 1997 (mind you, after a fairly significant increase from its recent low), it takes much more than luck to survive let alone prosper. It takes an “analytics-driven” attitude to survive and thrive.

“This time…something different is happening – perhaps a mood of long term austerity is evolving among consumers sparking a desire to reduce ostentation in everyday settings.”

So what will happen later this week on “Black Friday?” Will consumer spending be strong – hitting the $20 Billion mark on Black Friday as analysts at MasterCard predict, or will it limp along like a wounded duck? Is there enough pent-up demand after consumers have cut back so much in recent months, or is there a bright future on the horizon for retailers? Will the sales, promotions and advertising make a difference? Will hot ticket items like the new Kindle Fire be strong performers? What will happen to retailers that don’t sell hot ticket items?

There are a lot of questions here…. One thing, however, is certain. Many retailers that rely on gut feel may not make it. But those that mined their data, that used predictive analytics, and that extended themselves to analyze the “big data” of social media, well…they may hit the proverbial nail on the head.

Let’s see what shakes in the upcoming days. Stay tuned for more….

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/35985.wss

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The new IBM InfoSphere Warehouse 9.7.3 offers a simple and transparent “pay for what you use” terabyte pricing that allows your organization to pay only for the volume of compressed user data you manage in your data warehouse. Download this whitepaper to learn how to build high-speed, scalable analytics into your data warehouse with InfoSphere Warehouse.

As your data volumes grow, you can purchase additional warehousing capacity on a just-in-time basis. IBM’s industry leading compression capabilities further increase the value of this new pricing option. Do what’s right for your business and your users – put the best warehouse software on the best machine for the job.

Now pay only for the data you analyze with the new InfoSphere Warehouse 9.7.3 and deliver powerful business insights. Download this whitepaper to learn how to build high-speed, scalable analytics into your data warehouse with InfoSphere Warehouse.

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Great article on Business Week site… http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/feb2011/ca2011023_063316.htm?campaign_id=yhoo 

Uncertainty… To mitigate uncertainty you need insight into the marketplace, your business, customer behavior, economics, supply chain, etc etc etc. Where do you get that insight?? From the data sources within your company and from data outside your company. How do you analyze it?? With good data warehousing solutions, good data models and business intelligence / business analytics tools. Will this get you ALL the answers you need?? NO, but it’s far better to do your analysis and make as many decisions as you can based on facts, analytics, trends, scorecards, dashboards, performance, predictive modeling, than it is to rely on gut feel, intuition, or that arrogant word, experience. Data warehousing and analytics are seeing a huge surge for this very reason – to take as much uncertainty out of the equation as possible and base decisions on facts and analytics rather than gut feel. See more here… http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/data-warehousing/.

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No writing today, just  sharing a nice article on InformationWeek… http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/interviews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229201238

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IBM’s Analytical Ways – Why Big Blue has invested $12 billion in data analytics.

Written at Forbes.com by Kym McNicholas, http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/05/data-analytics-ibm-technology-cio-network-jonas.html

In good economic climates, even a monkey on a rock can make money. In the tough times that we face today, you have to know your markets and your customers deeply in order to make better, faster and more confident decisions. This can only come from an integrated data warehouse based on trusted information, that is mined for trends, insights, opportunities and cost savings.

1 in 3 business leaders make decisions on information they do not have or do not trust, and 1 in 2 don’t have access to the information they need to do their jobs (IBM CIO Study 2010 – http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/ciostudy/executive-views.html).

So the New Year’s Resolution you must make, is to invest in providing your executives and Line of Business managers with the information and insights they need. And provide visual reports, scorecards and dashboards on key performance indicators.

You can bet that your competitors are fast at work doing this. Data warehousing and business analytics are more important in today’s global economy than ever before.

Once you have this insight, then and only then, can you take the right actions to optimize your business.

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Forbes.com BLOG – You can grow wealth in 2011 like Amazon, Apple, Priceline, Colgate – http://blogs.forbes.com/adamhartung/2010/12/24/you-can-grow-wealth-in-2011-like-amazon-apple-priceline-colgate/

This article lays out a great set of recommendations, but HOW do you execute these? For every company in every industry in every market, the key to accomplishing the recommendations in this article lies within the company’s information warehouse and business analytics functions. That is, in order to make decisions on each of the key points above, you must know your markets and your customers deeply – better than your competitors. But, 1 in 3 business leaders make decisions on information they do not have or do not trust, and 1 in 2 don’t have access to the information they need to do their jobs (IBM CIO Study 2010 – http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/ciostudy/executive-views.html).

So the New Year’s Resolution you must make, is to invest in providing your executives and Line of Business managers with the information and insights they need – actionable insights, based on trusted information. With sooo much data and information available today, to everyone, companies need to integrate it all together into a trusted data warehouse, mine that information to identify trends, patterns, business opportunities, cost savings, who your most profitable customers are, what your optimal marketing mix is, which business segment is most profitable, etc etc etc. And provide visual reports, scorecards and dashboards on key performance indicators.

You can bet that your competitors are fast at work doing this. Data warehousing and business analytics are more important in today’s global economy than ever before – when the economy is growing, even a monkey on a rock can make money, but it takes deep insights and better, faster decisions to make money in a tough economy.

Once you have this insight, then and only then, can you implement the suggestions laid out in this article.

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Key links for more info, straight from the source.
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/32955.wss
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27163.wss

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