Retail: build with data

Improvement constitutes progression. That which has already been achieved does not become superfluous – it is a foundation. It is necessary. And this notion permeates all areas of change. Escalators never became a replacement for stairs and paperbacks have not faded into insignificance in the wake of the e-book.

Just so, the retail industry is branching out rather than changing lanes entirely. Experience allows one to build on from what and where one started. This can be done – this should be done – by responding and reacting to big data.


Electronic commerce epitomises the expansion retail has undergone. It is enabled by the Internet which is the means by which our various devices transmit data and contribute to the world of big data. Think about just how fast data actually proliferates. It is astounding across retail channels. It is the centre of Business Intelligence when it is used correctly.

Be reassured, as a business, that adapting to an online audience is, in most cases, the right choice: rapidly increasing mobile penetration is seeing increased mobile spend, cross-border shopping is made possible by e-commerce and South Africa’s online spend is expected to grow to more than R50 billion by 2018. But this is only strategic gold if data such as this is analysed and leveraged intelligently, timeously and in direct relation to each unique business.

Data in the retail industry

The huge amount of data that is generated by retail efforts should be used to refine these efforts which once again highlights the essence of improvement. If a business is not taking a holistic look at consumer trends and its performance for instance, the optimal business cycle is broken. To optimise a business, one needs to do research. This is where B2IT and its offerings feature prominently.

QlikView® will give a business an edge. The business will understand how to deliver personal experiences to the customer, data will begin to produce insights and the organisation will be guided to make meaningful decisions based on the data because data sources can be integrated and centralised to ease analysis.

Using the data that is available ensures that businesses move not only forward, but outward. The feedback and reflection involved in data analysis can no longer be overlooked. In the same way, the importance of its visual accessibility needs to be stressed. Companies in South Africa are encouraged to attend Qlik’s analytic solutions for the retail industry workshop to remain empowered as retail diversifies in Africa. Prioritise cost-efficiency and customer service. Rely on QlikView® and the data it can process and represent in order to accomplish this.

A business is always a work in progress: move with the times; treasure successes; reflect and build onwards and upwards.

Source: Fin24 “SA e-commerce growing by leaps and bounds”