PivotLink is a cloud-based provider of business intelligence and analytics that serves primarily retail companies. Its flagship product is Customer PerformanceMETRIX, which I covered in detail last year. Recently, the company released an important update to the product, adding attribution modeling, a type of advanced analytic that allows marketers to optimize spending across channels. For retailers these types of capabilities are particularly important. The explosion of purchase channels introduced by the Internet and competition from online retailers are forcing a more analytic approach to marketing as organizations try to decide where the marketing funds can be spent to best results. Our benchmark research into predictive analytics shows that achieving competitive advantage is the number-one reason for implementing predictive analytics, chosen by two-thirds (68%) of all companies and by even more retail organizations.
I had the opportunity last week to visit PivotLink in the Bellevue, Washington, office that houses the company’s development team and marketing leadership to see its software. After taking the helm a little more than a year ago and putting a new team in place, CEO Bruce Armstrong has positioned the company above the fray of the crowded business intelligence software set. The company has smartly moved into the retail space with user-friendly tools that should appeal to mid-tier retailers and where its historical success had been in the market. Building on my earlier analysis on PivotLink and its advancement into analytics and cloud computing but I will assess its software and efforts to help the retail industry.
Topics: Retail Analytics, Sales Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Location Intelligence
Our benchmark research into retail analytics suggests that only 34 percent of retail companies are satisfied with the process they currently use to create analytics. That’s 10 percent fewer businesses satisfied than we found for all industries combined. The dissatisfaction is being driven by underperforming technology that cannot keep up with the dramatic changes that are occurring in the retail industry. Retail analytics lag those in the broader business world, with 71 percent still using spreadsheets as their primary analysis tool; again, significantly higher than the average in other industries.
Topics: Big Data, Retail Analytics, SaaS, Sales Performance, Social Media, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Operational Intelligence
PivotLink introduced version 5 of its Business Intelligence (BI) product, which it delivers in the cloud computing environment and available through software as a service (SaaS) at its user conference. Demonstrating one of the unique benefits of providing it a SaaS approach, PivotLink did not require any of the attendees to request a download, get a new license file or do any type of software upgrade to receive the new version. It had already been done for them. One purpose of the conference was to inform customers of the new features they now had at their disposal. Any enterprise that has had to coordinate a major software upgrade should appreciate the time savings SaaS can provide on normal software maintenance activities. Our recent benchmark research on business data in the cloud indicates that companies are adopting SaaS-based products to varying degrees across all the lines of business.
Topics: Retail Analytics, SaaS, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance
The rapid evolution of business on the Internet has dramatically changed many organizations’ strategies for growth and profitability, especially those in the retail sector. I have written about the importance of analytics overall and in retail, but many companies are maturing slowly in using them to analyze electronic business and commerce. Data derived from analytics can enable them to manage the cycle from electronic merchandising and promotions to assessing interactions with sales categories and products and then to details of customer behavior and revenue. While there have been advancements in analytics of Web traffic, more is needed to be done to operate the Internet channel of retailing like those of “bricks and mortar.” As I have written about the evolution of Web sites to business sites (See: “Destroy the Website and Build Your Business on the Internet“), organizations need to invest in this business not just with people and processes but with the information and technology required to be successful. Our recent benchmark research into business intelligence found slight maturity and inadequate use of analytics to support retail. The research specifically discovered that the overuse of spreadsheets and lack of analytic capabilities are holding back organizations from maturing: Only 15 percent of retailers are at the highest Innovative level of maturity according to our Ventana Research Maturity Model.