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Five Areas Where Intelligent Data Virtualization Gives Retailers a Competitive Edge

Too many retailers are held back by their IT infrastructure, with key operational data scattered across fragmented systems. These silos and a lack of shared organizational insight put retailers’ competitive edge against both online and brick-and-mortar shops at great risk.

To stay relevant and compete with the 21st century industry giants, retailers must embrace technology that allows them to see all of their data in a single location, and apply analytics/BI to optimize customer service and business processes.

Reap the benefits of cloud migration now with intelligent data virtualization

While retailers can see the long-term benefits of cloud migration, making the move can be a slow beast. However, retailers can begin realizing these benefits no matter where they are on the cloud migration journey. Intelligent data virtualization gives retailers a complete view of all data across all systems, from a single portal connected to all enterprise applications and analysis tools, without the need for “lifting and shifting” it into the cloud.

This creates a shared data intellect that enables all parties to cohesively make decisions, making your retail operation far more competitive in:

  1. Business Analytics
  2. Inventory
  3. Pricing
  4. Supply Chain
  5. Security and Compliance

Business Analytics

Harvard Business Review Analytics Services found that 42% of retailers still rely on the previous year’s sales data to determine what goes on store shelves during the holidays. But with constantly evolving shopping habits, what are shoppers buying now so you can modify your sales strategy accordingly?

A successful unified analytics approach requires organizational alignment across merchandising, marketing, supply chain, and store operations, powered by BI tools able to read all of your data, no matter where it’s located or what format it’s in.

Inventory

Shockingly, over a third of the time, a retailer in the United States doesn’t know where a particular item is, or even whether or not they have it in stock [Auburn University].

Data virtualization provides a single inventory view across systems, providing dependable information and insights into where products are, what’s available, and when they need to be replenished, to stay ahead of potential lost revenue and overstock.

Pricing

To truly stay competitive and constantly give customers the right price, you need to be able to quickly access the most up-to-date competitive intelligence.

Data virtualization allows you to establish a single intelligence hub that gathers market data and competitor data in a timely manner, to help you spot market trends faster, pinpoint in-demand categories for promotions, and increase your bottom line.

Supply Chain

Buyers no longer tolerate delivery hold-ups or out-of-stock inventory. But retail supply chains are growing larger and more interconnected, taxing traditional approaches to supply chain management to their limits.

Data virtualization enables you to gain end-to-end visibility of all of your siloed supply chain data. When all data is visible and accessible in one place, retailers can get accurate reports with any BI tool and quickly react to any unexpected delays or disruptions.

Security and Compliance

Data breaches can be ruinous to retailers, and without visibility and control of all data in their systems, they can’t effectively govern usage to ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) and other regulations that have sensitive customer data at their core.

Intelligent data virtualization preserves security and privacy information from the source database all the way to the individual user by tracking the data’s lineage and the user’s identity. The user’s identity is also preserved and tracked, even when using shared data connections from a connection pool.

Gain the benefits of a shared data intellect now

With intelligent data virtualization, retailers can break down silos and gain the benefits of a shared data intellect right now, no matter where they are in terms of cloud migration… and keep their competitive edge in an ever-more-competitive retail landscape.

For more information on how data virtualization can transform your retail operations, download the Cloud Migration Best Practices Guide for the Retail Industry.

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