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House of Fraser rolls out next-generation BI powered by MicroStrategy

New visualisation tools provide self-service to help retailer make business decisions more quickly

Retailer House of Fraser has used MicroStrategy to replace paper-based reporting with modern data visualisation.

The department store chain has deployed MicroStrategy 10 to provide staff with user-friendly, interactive dashboards to help them make data-driven business decisions.

Julian Burnett, CIO and executive director at House of Fraser, said: “By empowering people across the business with visualisation tools, MicroStrategy is enabling us to transform our business culture. 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.”

One of the early results of using the tool has been that staff can now have a greater understanding of the dynamics between people and space, said Burnett. “By visualising data from the IoT [internet of things] and other sources, we can optimise these dimensions, improve the customer journey and, ultimately, drive growth,” he said.

The MicroStrategy 10 tool replaces grid-based reporting, which the retailer used before this year. Large reports were often printed out, leading to sizeable printing costs, and inefficiencies due to conflicting data.

House of Fraser said its business intelligence team would spend a lot of time validating data and gathering business requirements to build a single dashboard.

To improve this, streamlining analytics became part of the firm’s business transformation programme. Its aim was to make greater use of visualisations to provide users with actionable insights.

Read more about self-service BI

  • Visual data analysis is an important first step in any advanced analytics project – and analysts and data scientists who overlook it do so at their peril, experienced users warn.
  • Organisations need to plan for effective operational intelligence. This may involve sharing datasets between different organisations as well as identifying and sourcing external datasets.

Its next-generation business intelligence strategy involved the roll-out of a series of interactive dashboards using MicroStrategy 10. The business driver was to change the way employees interact with, and consume, data.

The BI team has subsequently rolled out pixel-perfect documents, self-service data discovery, advanced analytics, mobile reporting and MicroStrategy Office to its user community.

Business users now have self-service BI, enabling them to create data visualisation quickly, which completely changes the way dashboards are designed, built and used across the organisation. This empowers staff in all departments to quickly visualise data to improve stock management, reduce returns, optimise store layouts and enhance the overall customer experience, said House of Fraser.

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