Nisa Retail draws on cloud to improve business intelligence

Man standing at wall with brainstorming ideas on of business intelligence

Nisa Retail has rolled out a cloud-based business intelligence system to help independent shop owners obtain better insights into customer purchasing behaviour.

The chain has worked with IT provider Logicalis to replace its on-premise system with a service provided via the cloud. It is hoped the new system will help shop owners make better informed business decisions and support continued growth.

David Morris, head of IT at Nisa Retail, said the previous system was an “aging version of IBM Cognos hosted on-premise” and while this gave them a glimpse of what was possible with BI and analytics, “we knew we could do more to leverage the technology”.

"We wanted to adopt a new approach that would pool all data sources from right across the business, to put the right information, in the right users' hands, and quickly," he said.

"Whereas previously it was taking the team days to build data cubes, it's now just a matter of hours, with far greater consistency. As we look to mesh together data from warehousing and logistics, to what customers are buying and where and when, the information garnered will be invaluable," said Morris.

He said the system will help negotiate better costs with suppliers to directly benefit retailers’ bottom line, “enabling them to be even more competitive on the high-street.”

Logicalis deployed the latest version of IBM Cognos, hosted on its cloud platform and provided the group with professional services inclusive of training for Nisa’s team.

“Our previous solution was viewed as something that simply existed to help Nisa’s business users get from A to B in their roles,” said Morris.

“Now, as they dive deeper than ever before into our data, the solution is regarded as a key tool for delivering tangible business benefits and informing key decisions, focusing the IT department on areas that really help drive the business forward.”

The new cloud-based system should be fully operational by the end of the year.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.