House of Fraser rolls out self-service BI to optimise customer experience

End users are now using analytics to improve various business processes

Business intelligence and analytics tools have enabled House of Fraser to dramatically transform its business, empowering employees from across the organisation to glean their own actionable insights on a self-service basis.

The department store chain has rolled out its new intelligence initiative, nGenBI, which is powered by data analytics platform MicroStrategy 10. Previously, the company's business intelligence team would physically print out and distribute grid reports in large quantities, resulting in contradictory data and inefficiencies.

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House of Fraser's BI team was forced to spend substantial amounts of time building a single dashboard, speaking to other departments about their business needs and gathering other relevant data. By implementing MicroStrategy, however, individual departments are now able to easily generate their own reports and dashboards independently.

"By empowering people across the business with visualisation tools, MicroStrategy is enabling us to transform our business culture," said House of Fraser CIO Julian Burnett. "Our teams easily understand what the visualisations reveal to us about the state of our business and can apply that to the day to day as well as to the strategic choices we make."

"Using MicroStrategy's platform, our employees can pull together a data set, apply it to a data model and visualise it all within minutes," added Steve Limbirons, the retailer's business intelligence programme manager.

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"That is a huge step forward for us. Self-service data discovery enables our business users, regardless of their technical skill or role, to take analytics into their own hands and quickly answer complex business questions on the fly."

Now that the rest of the business can generate its own insights and reporting without needing to go through House of Fraser's BI team, the team is free to focus on more business-critical reports and on optimising the way that data is gathered and processed within the company.

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Employees throughout the business have felt the benefits, too. Self-service data discovery has allowed them to analyse product returns data to drastically improve the returns process. Supply chain, marketing and store operations departments have also engaged with the platform, such as by using real-time information about customer visits to retail stores to optimise the in-store experience.

"MicroStrategy has enabled us to achieve a much clearer picture of the entire business and an understanding, for example, of the dynamics between people and space," Burnett said. "By visualising data from IoT and other sources, we can optimise these dimensions, improve the customer journey and ultimately drive growth."

Picture: Bigstock

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