Business executives and analysts find it difficult to achieve total satisfaction with their business intelligence (BI) tools. For most, it’s the classic case of internal executives and users continuously seeking data or visualizations faster and than the ability of analysts to arrange and query the data required in order to produce powerful reports.
The challenge gets even more complicated when the business operations and systems data are located within a large number of disparate platforms. Even when on single platform, the meaningful calculations, trends, KPIs may not easily correlate across business areas, customers, products, marketing channels and the like. Users are looking for their business intelligence tools to trigger alerts, recommendations and process automation that is based on preselected criteria regarding business performance.
Typically, ecommerce, omnichannel, brick and mortar retail, and traditional B2B brands require data that resides in a multiplicity of data stores due to the fact that they commonly utilize a combination of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and best of breed platforms. An onslaught of SaaS applications enabling digital transformation in areas such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Subscription Management, Loyalty, Product Management, etc has made the data landscape more complex than ever. In order to support their operations and create unified reporting, the solution seems seem to reside in the ability to simplify and standardize reporting across business teams using as few consolidated data sources and visualization tools as possible. While most major platforms come with their own form of analytics and reporting - users find these reporting capabilities inadequate and limited in functionality.
Is it possible for a larger ecommerce or omnichannel business to conceive and deploy an Enterprise Business Intelligence Reporting strategy that’s enterprise wide, cost effective and built upon a single platform? That also provides a data pipeline, data warehouse and BI reporting tool? For a medium sized business? What about a hybrid, omnichannel business with limited expertise?
Yes! It is possible - and it’s happening with great success! Welcome to Glew Enterprise! Glew Enterprise provides a unified platform that includes the integrations data pipeline, ecommerce data warehouse and reporting services. Whether an agency, online store or major B2B brand with direct to consumer strategies, Glew Enterprise offers powerful and unique BI solutions in a quick, easy and affordable offering.
Data sources are inherently disparate and not necessarily arranged or calculated in advance of meaningful queries. BI solutions require the the identification of the best way to acquire, transform and arrange the source data. There are plenty of products and consultants prepared to make this happen. However, the objective is to identify the easiest and most cost effective way to get it done. There are existing data providers that specialize in making the data available by having all the integrations, transformations (ETL) and calculations performed in advance to serve as a major data source for BI queries. These firms are known as Data Pipeline providers. Using these providers enables BI users to reliably access manage a consistent subscription cost. Additionally, specialized and personalized data sources enable reporting that otherwise may not be considered with a homegrown data source. Glew Enterprise Integration Data Pipeline consists of over fourteen (14) key integrations (soon to be forty(40) integrations!). Integrations currently include all the major commerce platforms, search advertising, social advertising, retargeting and email automation. Additionally, unlimited integrations exist to be captured through standard extraction and file formats to complete the availability of enterprise data.
The Mantle ecommerce data warehouse does all the normal ETL data transformations. More importantly, Mantle includes extensive calculations and data validation specifically based upon specialized ecommerce metrics such as lifetime value (LTV), attribution modeling, inventory management, return on ad spend (ROAS), etc. Whether building your own or using generalized data warehouse solutions (that are not designed specifically for ecommerce) will frustrate the analyst, user and cost your company too much time and money.
The visualization tools to consider range from screen scraping dashboards to high powered, programmable query and reporting administration tools. For the small business with a few casual users, the dashboard solution may be sufficient. For the intermediate, the BI tools begin to allow for extensive connectivity, perform data manipulation and administer user management functions like access control, automated dashboards, scheduled reports, white label, etc. For the large, complex organization, the selection of a visualization tool is often times a function of their ERP ecosystem. For example, an SAP shop is likely to select the technology with origins rooted in Business Objects - a BI company acquired by SAP and often bundled as a reporting platform that leverages integrations with SAP data sources. The BI tool selection process is not unlike any other exercise that involves managing the purchase of a software vendor with a solid understanding of your requirements as the criteria for function and total cost of ownership.
Let’s start with the concept of talent. Talent that is required for ecommerce and omnichannel analytics and reporting requires a potential unique blend of knowledge. The following knowledge domains represent required the expertise: data analytics and metrics for the commerce (includes inventory, customers, products and orders ) platform, website stats, search, social, advertising, retargeting, and retail. Now, let’s add to that expertise in integrations, ETL, and SQL programming. Finally, let’s add in the need for the business acumen to understand the business use for hierarchy, segments, SKU’s, date ranges and user visualization preferences. Uh… what? All that to say that the idea of looking outside to a Reporting Services firm that spends all its time, energy and resources providing all the elements required to enable extraordinary ecommerce and omnichannel analytics, alerts and automation makes sense for many firms.
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