How Hudson’s Bay Company is Making Analytics Reporting Easier
In a session yesterday at the Teradata PARTNERS Conference in Anaheim, Calif., Harjeet Komal, senior manager, systems integration, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), detailed how the retail business has developed an analytics reporting system to help streamline operations, increase efficiencies and, ultimately, boost the bottom line.
HBC is working with MicroStrategy, an enterprise analytics platform, as well as Teradata’s enterprise data warehouse to provide access to valuable data to employees across its organization, which includes retail brands Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and others.
“We wanted to create a web-based business intelligence reporting [tool] for a single version of the truth,” said Komal.
Prior to working with MicroStrategy and Teradata, HBC struggled creating analytics reports that were accurate, easily digestible, and shareable across its merchants, stores (HBC operates more than 480 brick-and-mortar stores) and vendors. Now, HBC is creating detailed reports for C-suite executives, which provide a snapshot into critical metrics such as sales, gross margin and inventory levels, to name just a few.
In addition to the executive reports, HBC has set up reports for its stores, with individual store data; merchant reports with SKU-level data; vendor reports with product performance data; exception reports, which highlight outliers in performance; and more.
“We’ve also enabled report sharing so that the same template doesn’t have to be built over and over again,” Komal said.
Tips for Building a Successful Analytics Structure
Komal closed his presentation with some takeaway tips for the audience as they look to improve their use of analytics, with a specific eye towards internal reporting:
- Be careful of mixing workloads against your database.
- Ensure you have a vision to make more data available to more people within your organization.
- Assemble a strong support staff to help with adoption of analytics and reporting, including dashboards.
- Consistently monitor performance of reports — e.g., are stats getting stale, reoccurring reports being run. Komal and his team have a biweekly meeting to assess the performance of the reports being produced, including having a history of all the reports that have been run.
- Ensure all processes and decisions are documented and communicated to all members of the organization.
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