Sadly, while 2016 may bring a new set of resolutions, inevitably this year’s rendition will look a lot like New Year’s resolutions made in 2015 or 2006 or 1996. Not surprisingly, it is estimated, “less than 50% of us pursue our resolutions beyond six months, 25% give up by the end of the first week, and 60% of us will make the exact same resolution next year”. I guess life is challenging and full of distractions, which causes most of us to veer off course despite our best intentions.
New Year’s resolutions happen in the business world as well, and the retail calendar sets up perfectly for them. Having lived inside retailers across the globe for the past decade or so, one of the most common resolutions I have heard is the strategic enterprise business intelligence initiative that is going to change how the business operates. The merchants will no longer have to ask the planners to pull reports from Microsoft Access for them. The Store Operations folks will improve conversions, the supply chain team will have end-to-end order visibility, the marketing team will be able to tie a customer’s e-commerce behavior to the offers they are served, and IT will own the platform and ensure governance!
Six months after the bold new business intelligence initiative is announced, nothing changes. IT will be frantically preparing reports requested by the business, with constantly changing requirements, and the business will be working around the IT-architected reports with rogue Excel spreadsheets wrought with errors and flashy visualization tools with little governance. I guess life in the retail world is challenging and full of distractions, which causes many retailers to veer off course despite their best intentions.