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Bigger Is Not Always Better – Why #Amazon Is Worth More Than #Walmart – #Retailing

Over the weekend a lot has been made about Amazon topping Walmart in market value.  This is the second time in two months an online based company has surpassed Walmart.  Last month Facebook moved above Walmart and pushed the retailer out of the Top 10 list of the Forbes 500.

While Walmart has a much larger revenue and profit than these online centric companies, the concern is the slowing revenue and profit growth with the large fixed cost of the huge scale infrastructure.

Below is an interesting article highlighting the shift in retailing by comparing Amazon to Walmart now that the Amazon market value exceeds that of Walmart.

Source:  Bigger Is Not Always Better – Why Amazon Is Worth More Than Walmart

#retailing

#Walmart

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#Retailing News:  #Walmart Canada Chooses Ottawa For Online Grocery Shopping Launch

The retail giant announced Friday that it has launched its own e-commerce grocery shopping service at all its Ottawa locations and in some outlying stores as well.

 

“For us, when we talk to our customers, we realize that absolutely, people are time-starved today. An hour today is worth way more than it was 10 years ago,” said Simon Rodrigue, Wal-Mart Canada’s senior vice-president, e-commerce.

 

This is Wal-Mart’s first foray into grocery shopping online in Canada. Mr. Rodrigue said the retailer chose Ottawa because it has found the city to be very receptive to previous e-commerce initiatives.

 

“I think second, Ottawa is that perfect blend of education with the universities, it has a high-tech base and from a demographic perspective, there are a lot of families,” he added.

 

Mr. Rodrigue said online shopping is the future of grocery retailing.

 

“Our customers have been telling us they wanted it,” he said. “Wal-Mart is really targeting for our customers to buy what they want, when they want, where they want, and I think the grocery home shopping is a key part of that. It’s one of the key initiatives.”

 

 

#Retailing

#Walmart

#OnlineShopping

 

Source: Wal-Mart Canada chooses Ottawa for online grocery shopping launch

 

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#Retailing News – Annual Vendors FORE Education Golf Tournament Played July 10th – #Walmart

Relax and enjoy your Saturday coffee.

Golfers from across Northwest Arkansas gathered for the Vendors FORE Education golf tournament to raise money in support of students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the University of Arkansas women’s golf program.

The tournament, sponsored by Walmart vendors, was held Friday, July 10th, at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville.  Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence hosts the tournament each year.

The event raises money for the Razorback women’s golf program and for funding for the Center for Retailing Excellence to provide support for students who may have missed out on other financial aid opportunities.

#Retailing

#Walmart

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#DataWrangling – How #CPG #CategoryManagers Lasso Their Data Without Getting Gored

If you are a category manager or captain in the Walmart supplier arena, chances are you have become an expert in Excel. Without knowing it you have been data wrangling, and why not, what other tool enables you to combine data from such disparate data sources any easier? Granted, it’s work you have to do on a regular basis, and if these awesome spreadsheets and dashboards become popular in your organization, you get to refresh them on a regular basis, but that’s just the cost of doing business. If you have been lucky enough to get to use a BI tool like Tableau or MicroStrategy 9, then some of this work has been streamlined for you. Now, once you get your data refreshed, the visualizations can fall in line very easily. Getting the data refreshed is not always so easy though. MicroStrategy has traditionally been IT focused, with enterprise grade everything, focusing on data governance by the IT organization, while Tableau has focused in on the business department or user, that needs cool visualizations, but may not be the best at getting data into the tool in an automated fashion, but you can just whip up an excel spreadsheet and link it in. Viola – presto magic dashboards. In essence, you had to trade enterprise for ease of use.

2015-06-17 11_22_27-ReadyTalk Conferencing -Any data, quickly and easily

With MicroStrategy 10, that is no longer a problem. MicroStrategy effortlessly blends structured warehouse data (read IT generated and governed data) with data from your own pocket. Build something popular they want refreshed on a regular basis? Fire it off to the Administrator, and they can recreate what you built to auto-refresh with each data load. A lot of what you build is a one-off to answer a buyer question about on-shelf availability, or you’ve got some market basket data that is driving a question. It’s not necessarily something that needs to be built, refreshed, and maintained as a corporate dashboard or report. But, you do want to blend this data that is loaded each week in your enterprise data warehouse, like your POS sales or your historical inventory. But what if the data is not formatted correctly to report against?

You could make the argument that you need to load everything into the data warehouse, but why would you do that if you have a one-off analysis and you may never need that data again. Only one DSR makes it pretty easy to add data like it’s tissue paper for integration with the rest of the demand signal data for use in MicroStrategy, and that is the Vortisieze DSDH (Demand Signal Data Hub) – mostly because we are using Cloudera as the backend. If you knew you were going to run these reports on a regular basis, or needed them refreshed – then by all means add them to the data warehouse, but now the choice to not add data to the data warehouse does not default you back to Excel – you can do this in MicroStrategy Desktop, blend it with the enterprise data you have come to trust, and refresh this on a weekly basis with a few mouse clicks.

What enables this is the Data Wrangling feature that is new with MicroStrategy 10 that is not available in any other tool I have seen. See, one of the benefits of utilizing ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) to load data into your data warehouse, is that your ETL team will cleanse and harmonize your data so that it lines up correctly with the rest of your data. States won’t be a mish-mash of two letter abbreviations or full state names. Data won’t be mixed formats – that is the whole point of ETL. So, when you skip the ETL team, you are on your own to cleanse and harmonize your data. Traditionally this meant dropping your data to excel and spending a few hours searching and cleaning it up so that the reports made sense. MicroStrategy 10’s new data wrangling feature will do some minor cleanup of local data sources for you without the need for an ETL team.

Now, you can have the best of both worlds. MicroStrategy 10 has been designed to give the business user the most flexibility in data sources, and not rely on your ETL or IT team to cleanup local dirty data, but still be able to leverage corporate data sources that have been cleaned and vetted. Got a marketing data set direct from twitter? Want to marry that with POS sales or weather? I can’t imagine these tasks can get much easier now, and you have more flexibility than ever to bring in your ETL team when they are truly needed. With the ability to go and buy a single license of MicroStrategy 10 for $600, there is not much standing in your way of being the organizational rock star of analytics. Plus, now you get to add the cool title of “Data Wrangler” to your credentials.

 

#DataWrangling

#CPG

#CategoryManagers

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#Walmart #POS #WeatherData Analysis in MicroStrategy


There are lots of ways to analyze your POS sales against weather, but it might be good to first determine if there is even a correlation between the two. If you’ve got weather data and POS data in your DWH, you can achieve this relatively quickly by using a weighted trend graph in MicroStrategy’s Visual Insights. As you can see in the screenshot above, we created a data set with Walmart week, some POS metrics, and some weather metrics – the one we are interested in for this set of products is Average Temperature. With WM Week as the x-Axis and POS sales as the y-Axis, we then have the ability to color the line by Average Temperature, and we weight the line with precipitation. As the line moves from red to blue the temps get cooler, and as the line gets thicker we see more total precipitation across the country for that week.

At a high level, this graph doesn’t give us anything we can action directly on. However, it does seem that as the country cools off we sell substantially more product. With a little more work we can add some drill downs to state or store and look at temps down to store level to see if each store exhibits the same behavior or if they seem unaffected.

Not all products have a correlation to weather, but these seem to, so next post we will dive deeper into how weather seems to affect sales, and we will try to add some more interesting metrics to help identify outliers or patterns we can predict. Feel free to comment or send suggestions on how you would like to see this dashboard evolve to marketing@vortisieze.com and we will see if we can incorporate your suggestions into the dashboard.

#Walmart

#POS

#WeatherData

 

 #Vortisieze Technology Releases First Software Product for #CPGMarketing

For Immediate Release

Vortisieze Technology LLC
479-633-7821
sales@vortisieze.com
www.vortisieze.com

Lowell, AR – March, 3/9/2015 2015 – Vortisieze Technology has released their first software application, Filter Manager. This application automatically updates filters built in the MicroStrategy business intelligence tool based on a calendar table, and is completely customizable and extensible. For analytics that do not follow a standard calendar format (like a Walmart fiscal calendar for instance where the year beginning date can change based on an odd number of weeks every four years), it can be difficult to build rolling date filters for scorecarding metrics, or in some cases downright impossible. This application turns that complex logic into simple date filters that are then easy to use in your reports and metrics.
This software rounds out their application stack that provides item-store-day level analytics built on top of Cloudera Hadoop and MicroStrategy. By combining these tools with best of breed analytics built in MicroStrategy and tools like Filter Manager, Vortisieze has created a fast, agile data platform that can react to your changing business as fast as you need it to. By Partnering with Cloudera as their Hadoop provider they are able to scale to any size of dataset that is needed. Data that was just a dream is now possible, from correlating sales performance to social data and weather data, to finding relationships between SKU-Store performance and hospital mortality or unemployment rates, Vortisieze is pushing the boundaries of thinking that can be used to increase sales.

Vortiseze Technology LLC builds analytics platforms in MicroStrategy and Cloudera-Hadoop. Filter Manager is their first go-to-market application that can be purchased on it’s own to use with your own data warehouse or in conjunction with the Vortisieze MicroStrategy-Cloudera application that helps CPG companies manage their business with very large retailers.

Vortisieze Technology LLC is a software and data analytics company with over 30 years total experience in data warehousing, MicroStrategy solutions, software development, Walmart category management reporting and Cloudera implementations. Based in Northwest Arkansas they are centrally located to service their customers who deal with very large retailers.

If you are interested in Filter Manager or our complete analytics suite please email sales@vortisieze.com or call us at 479-633-7821

 

# # #

 

#Vortisieze

#CPGMarketing

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What’s next for #CPG #CategoryManagement?

What do Walmart, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, IBM, Google, EBay, Teradata, LinkedIn, Hulu, The New York Times, MicroStrategy, and P&G have in common? They are all harnessing the power of Hadoop to store, serve, slice, and rationalize Big Data to advance their business. To peer into volumes of data like never before. Volumes of data that have been too big to be this nimble and uncovering things about their customers that they never dreamed possible – until today.

The biggest downside to standard data warehousing and BI tools today is that you have to know the questions you want to ask ahead of time. This creates a never ending search for patterns, outliers, and relationships in your data. If you dream up a question your existing architecture doesn’t support, you have to involve IT or software vendors and re-architect the whole data warehouse.

What if you could gaze into a magic 8-ball and it would tell you everything you needed to know about your retail category – all of the SKU changes to maximize sales,  your out-of-stocks and phantom inventory, your sales by geography or store traits, plus patterns in your data that you did not even know to look for. Welcome to the next generation of BI data warehousing in retail category management – Hadoop!

Why Hadoop?

  • Hadoop is powering today’s Big Data initiatives and is gaining more and more acceptance across many different business units. Coupled with Hive, Pig, Scoop, MapReduce, and numerous others, there are multiple robust ways to attack and slice your data.
  • Your original data formats are unchanged, so you can reuse them in their raw form at a later date. This guarantees no data loss in case you think of some way to explore your data in the future that you have not thought of today. It also does not lock you into a proprietary third party data format.
  • No ETL is required. Data is loaded into the HDFS and then you are done. Then use coupled tools to go unearth the data you are looking for rather than churning it into a cookie cutter format that you hope will give you insights.
  • Hadoop is scalable using inexpensive hardware. Add nodes to your cluster all day long, using junker PCs you have lying around in the closet. No longer do you need a $50K RAID SAN to house and protect your data. Running out of space after 5 years of category data? Just load up some more nodes and you will be good for another few years.
  • Hadoop couples with several analytics vendors – MicroStrategy, Pentaho, Zoomdata, SSRS, Tableau, SAS, with other open source products as well as numerous several built-in packages.

We are breaking new ground focusing on implementing Retaillink or other Demand Signal data in a Hadoop cluster, and applying several analytics packages on top of that to let this new Big Data platform shine in the category management space like never before.

#CPG

#CategoryManagement