PivotLink Prepares Business Intelligence for Retailers and Online Marketers
For the last year, business intelligence (BI) vendor PivotLink has been shying away from the traditional analyst segment of BI users and has embraced the casual business user.
"What's important to us is focusing on the metrics and what business users are looking for," says Rosanne Saccone, PivotLink's senior vice president of marketing. With an eye toward front-office departments, the company launched the ReadiMetrix product family in March:
- ReadiMetrix for Sales,
- ReadiMetrix for Marketing, and
- ReadiMetrix for Human Capital Management.
PivotLink began providing "pre-packaged entry points" into the enterprise. This week, PivotLink has extended its offerings to the retail industry and the online-marketing department.
Saccone remarks that retail is a big vertical for PivotLink so ReadiMetrix for Retail was a natural extension. The vendor based the application on best practices from more than 40 of its retail customers. The product includes metrics relating to store profitability, marketing, sales, and products. Additionally, users can tap into pricing and inventory management and product mix analysis. "We already have a large pipeline of prospects for [ReadiMetrix for Retail]," Saccone says. The application also features analysis of things like shelf-space optimization and cross-channel analysis for e-commerce and brick-and-mortar commerce.
For ReadiMetrix for Online Marketing PivotLink worked with partner Cervello to build the product for these types of customers. "The unmet need was all the disparate tools their marketers were using to understand the online input into the lead generation system," Saccone explains. The goal for the solution is to unify goals and metrics across the myriad tools online marketers work with including advertising, demand generation, search engine optimization (SEO), website performance and social media. The dashboard features more than 30 key performance indicators related to online marketing performance.
PivotLink, Saccone says, plans on continuing to leverage the momentum around prepackaged entry points into its key markets. "Our philosophy is that you shouldn't have to spend it all ahead of time and build hard-coded [BI software] without bringing value," Saccone says. "That's an old approach — it's too brittle."
"The big advantage is to have 'prepackaged' analytics specific to a business problem or industry," says Fern Halper, partner at Hurwitz & Associates. "Business users might not be well versed in analytics and this can often give them a good starting point. That said, it will be important for business users to have a way to customize their analytics that is easy and can't get them into trouble."
Saccone emphasizes that PivotLink prepackages the applications in order for them to be implemented quickly. But the platform isn't limited to the entry point of choice. "It handles multiple data sources and highly changing data," she insists.
Halper points out that PivotLink does try to provide a really easy to use interface that speaks the language of the company. It's easy to customize, she says, and it can deal with data issues, such as missing data effectively.
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