May 31 2018
Data Analytics

3 Steps Retailers Should Take When Implementing Data Analytics

Pebble Beach partnered with IBM to deploy its analytics solution and did so with vigilant data hygiene and integration practices.

The demand for data analytics in the retail sector is gaining serious momentum. According to a 2018 Gartner survey, 54 percent of retailers are focused on deploying analytics technologies as part of their digital transformation projects over the next 18 months. Pebble Beach, a golf resort company based in California, has IT and retail departments that spent about nine months working with a third-party consultant to implement IBM Planning Analytics.

1. Clean the Data Set

In the beginning, they spent several months cleaning the data — eliminating extra coding, verifying vendor names and eliminating duplicate entries.

“We made sure our data was accurate,” says Kevin Kakalow, director of retail at Pebble Beach Company.

2. Integrate Primary Data Sources and Systems

Then they integrated the inventory management, point-of-sale and general ledger systems, so the data is automatically uploaded to IBM Planning Analytics each day. The inventory management and point-of-sale systems currently export flat files onto a server, and in the morning, that data is uploaded to the IBM cloud.

3. Continue Further Integration for Real-Time Updates

In the next phase of the implementation, Pebble Beach will further integrate the inventory management and point-of-sale systems, connecting the systems to databases and using SQL or ODBC interfaces to upload to IBM Planning Analysis more frequently, so executives can run reports with more up-to-date information, Kakalow says.

Learn more about how retailers are using technology to get a leg up in our feature story, "How Technology Is Delivering the Future of Retail Today."

Robert Houser

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