Brief Overview of Business Intelligence and How Walmart Uses It

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Brief Overview of Business Intelligence and How Walmart Uses It Walmart is the biggest retailer in the world and handles more than one million customer transactions every hour and generates more than 2.5 petabytes of data storage (Venkatraman & Brooks, 2012). To put this into perspective, this data is equivalent to 167 times the number of books in America’s Library of Congress (Venkatraman & Brooks, 2012). So how can Wal-Mart use this massive amount of data and what useful information can this data provide? This paper will provide a brief overview of the importance of Business Intelligence (BI) and how the largest retailer in world, Walmart, is using it. BI platforms help management to truly understand its customer base…show more content…
Walmart uses the various BI tools in order to understand how online behavior influences in-store behaviors and vice versa (SAS Institute Inc.). From the HR perspective, Walmart seeks to understand how to harness the knowledge of its associates and make it available and accessible for everyone in the organization (SAS Institute Inc.). This plethora of raw data, along with the high potential to improve both sales and HR management is a challenging task which creates a significant demand for analytics talent. To combat this demand, Walmart decided to apply crowdsourcing, with positive results (Marr, 2015). In 2014, Walmart turned to crowdsourced analytics competition platform Kaggle for an army of “armchair data scientists” who applied their skills to analytical problems submitted by companies (Marr, 2015). As a result of this competition, the designer of the best solution was rewarded – sometimes financially – and in this case the winner was granted a job at Walmart in the technology division. Wal-Mart is always looking for the competitive edge and doesn’t limit its BI software use. In fact, Wal-Mart even creates its own software to collect and analyze data. Walmart has been able to consolidate ten different websites into one and store all incoming data in the new

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