Every company, it seems, is looking to analytics to convert its operations into extra profitable, extremely productive models of efficiency. After all, analytics truly is a transformative technology, as at least one leading apparel manufacturer and retailer discovered.
I worked closely with this company, which I'm not allowed to name, and saw first-hand the way in which analytics empowered the organization to improve.
Deploying an analytics software enabled the business to analyze large quantities of data in real-time. It helped the company to analyze current point-of-sale data, review segmentation, merchandising, inventory management, and forecasting information at the speed of thought, on any device, anywhere, anytime.
The solution also helped the manufacturing and retailing company pull up-to-the-minute data from multiple sources using the shortest retrieval times: in the past, it had to wait a day to get similar reporting. That's because the data had to be populated from different countries into a central database before any analysis could be performed.
The new analytics software enabled my client to rapidly analyze the impact of short-term supply, demand fluctuations, and last-minute orders, and rationalize large volumes of point-of-sale and channel data to gain insights into inventory movement. As a result, by the end of the first quarter the business reduced inventory holding costs by almost 20 percent. That's one-fifth.
Analytics software available today can analyze structured and unstructured data from both internal and external sources. Solutions use that data to provide businesses with a detailed view of the business without aggregation. Before this type of analytics software was available, my client would have had to use a preconfigured, uncustomizable dashboard; custom reports would have taken ages to do and the company wouldn't have been able to define future expectations. Today, the game has changed. Software gives users the freedom to quickly and easily create ad-hoc views without needing to know the data or query type. These faster reactions to articulated queries allowed my client to transform its business processes so it could outpace the competition. The software opens up countless dimensions for analysis and managers can easily extract reports that were unthinkable a few years ago.
Benefits are not limited manufacturing and sales, but are also being realized in other business functions such as human resources. HR can now analyze employee turnover and attrition rates more closely; it can find out the reasons for employee dissatisfaction and take concrete steps to mitigate them. Reports enable the HR department to perform a training needs analysis, and any employees who require trainings can be easily booked for internal or external classes.
Analytics provides a rich array of value to many organizations, as a whole and to their multiple departments. The technology can help you unlock value by optimizing revenue sources, targeting complaints or problems within your organization, and offering insights to allay or eliminate those pain points.
— Taimoor Zubair works as a software engineer at a leading BPO solutions company in Pakistan.