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AI and BI and DI… Oh my! Navigating the yellow brick road of data and analytics

By 11/04/2022June 27th, 2023Blog Posts, Thought Leadership
City scene with a yellow brick path running under a bridge. There are trees and a river to the right of the path.

By Elsey Richards, HyperFinity intern.

The yellow brick road of data and analytics can be overwhelming. Full of buzzwords and acronyms, it can be confusing to know what is suited to your business and, like Dorothy, it can be difficult to find your way.

So, you take the road to the Emerald City of data science and AI; the place that holds the key to smarter business decisions. The Wicked Witch of the West taunts you on your way, she throws incoherent data analysis and poor business decisions at you all in the face of an ever-changing hybrid retail landscape.

Despite all this you make it to the Emerald City! So, what lies in wait?

It’s the Wonderful Wizard of Oz – or should we say decision intelligence – that can guide you home to a supercharged business.

All fears and anxieties can be pushed aside, because decision intelligence lies behind any successful business, making complicated commercial decisions look easy – or some would say, magical!

So, enough of wizards and yellow brick roads, let’s get down to the important stuff.

What is decision intelligence?

We’ve all come across the term artificial intelligence, defined by IBM as “a field, which combines computer science and robust datasets, to enable problem-solving”. Decision intelligence is the new kid on the block.

And it arrived with a bang; Gartner recently recognised it  within their list of Top Strategic Technology Trends 2022.

However, it is not simply a trend, but a necessary component of any business strategy.

Decision intelligence is a form of AI but it is the commercial application of it.

“It [decision intelligence] provides recommended actions that address specific business needs, and is therefore always outcome focused.” – BCS Chartered Institute for IT

2022 is the year of personalisation.

Customers now expect a personalised experience when shopping and, as such, personalisation has become a top priority within digital marketing and eCommerce in 2022.

Decision intelligence can propel your business towards personalised customer experiences with affinity analytics. This is a data science technique that helps understand the relationship between products and customers, customers and customers, and products and products. It can be used in combination with attributes and need states to boost retailers’ understanding of customer behaviour to personalise journeys.

Ultimately, affinity analytics can help create commercially focused recommendations to tailor customer experiences.

Retail decisions are interlinked.

Retailers and brands make decisions across five interlinked areas: assortment, pricing, marketing and media, eCommerce and supply chain. Making great decisions in these areas is the difference between success… and obsolescence.

Decision intelligence democratises data, breaking down siloes and placing insights in the hands of decision makers. It places the customer at the heart of businesses and unifies all decisions.

A metal chain in the foreground against a skyline background, representing interlinked commercial decisions.

Decision intelligence in action.

Let’s say you’re a fashion retailer and you want to adjust the price of a floral dress on your website. As we know, pricing decisions cannot be made alone, as they affect other key commercial areas like marketing and supply chain.

After all, if you’re changing the price of a product you need to consider the other floral dresses in your range, price sensitivity and the market itself. It’s also important to forecast stock levels, optimise online product merchandising and set the timing and markdown to the right level.

Analysing each of these areas manually can be costly and time consuming. But there’s a simpler way – pricing should be intelligent too!

This is where decision intelligence comes in. Dynamic forecasting and demand-based decision making allows you to quickly capture insights across all these interlinked areas. This means you don’t have to rely on past performance of products to make informed pricing decisions.

Getting the balance right on the price of the dress is crucial. When it comes to products with significant competition, pricing is everything. There needs to be a focus on the customer and an understanding of their buying pattern.

By combining an understanding of demand, inventory and competition for the floral dress (or any product in your portfolio), decision intelligence can boost sales and reduce waste – it’s a win-win!

You’ve made it to Emerald City.

This is where HyperFinity comes in.

HyperFinity, our decision intelligence platform, is the Wizard to your Dorothy; helping you find your way home to better, faster and simpler business decisions.

We believe data science and AI should be the norm for any business to function; we want to make understanding it simpler.

This is why we created HyperFinity. It provides actionable, transparent insights at speed, all from one intuitive platform. We’ve built this on decades of experience and our technology helps retailers and household brands make customer-centric, data-led decisions; no more relying on guesswork!

With HyperFinity, you have the tools you need to strive for intelligence-based decisions. All that’s left is to click your heels to return home – to a supercharged business!

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…

Contact us to find out how data science and AI can sprinkle a bit of magic for your retail business.

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