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15May, 2017

Grow your Business with Magento and Business Intelligence

Author Ankit Agarwal Category

Role of Data and Analytics

According to Gartner, Worldwide Business Intelligence and Analytics Market is expected to reach $18.3 billion in 2017 and $22.8 billion by end of 2020.

But why are we talking about Business Intelligence?

Let me answer this a little differently. In last few months how often, have you heard one or more of the following?

Data, Analytics, Reporting, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, Internet-of-things, Data Mining, Data Management, Data Visualization, Key Performance Indicator (KPI), Metrics, etc.

I will not be surprised if you say every single day, and there is a reason for that. We are all sitting on heaps of data with everything we do and everything around us generating more every sec. And what do we do with all the data? Analyze of course. So much so that every business is an analytics business, every business process is an analytics process and every person is an analytics user.

In short, analytics has become strategic to most businesses and central to most business roles.

Consider this

  • 85% of business leaders believe big data will dramatically change the way they do business (Forbes)
  • Companies using analytics are 5X more likely to make faster decisions. (source)

Business Intelligence (BI), in simple words, is just another reference used to refer to the act of gathering and analyzing data to draw actionable insights for businesses.

Business intelligence (BI) is an umbrella term that includes the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance – Gartner

E-commerce and Business Intelligence

Now, you probably believe Business Intelligence is for large organizations that have multiple systems and are sitting on a lot of business data (historical or otherwise). However, nothing can be farther from the truth. Business Intelligence has wide applications, for businesses of all sizes, across industries, departments, and roles.

And e-commerce businesses are no different. Business Intelligence is required for all businesses; we will not emphasize its importance in e-commerce citing rising competition, increased commoditization, etc. as reasons.

While this might seem as a new concept, you have already been using business intelligence (probably a more unstructured version) like forever. Consider this, have you in past wondered or asked the following questions?

  • Marketing & Sales Effectiveness Related Questions
    • Which demography is driving maximum amount of traffic and sales for your e-commerce business? Which channel or source or advertising has generated most sales for your e-commerce business? Which campaigns or ad copy has been most effective in driving traffic/ sales for you?
  • Website Effectiveness Related Questions
    • Why are customers abandoning my shopping cart and how can I get them to convert? What pages are my customers visiting and what elements are they clicking on before making a purchase?
  • Social Media Effectiveness Related Questions
    • Which social media platforms are my customers most active on? Which social media platforms are driving maximum traffic and sales to my e-commerce store? Which of my social media strategies are working?
  • SEO Related Questions
    • Which keywords are driving traffic and sales to my e-commerce store? What are my top landing pages?
  • Operations Effectiveness Related Questions
    • How long will my current inventory last? How much inventory do I need for the upcoming holiday season?
  • Management Decision Making Related Questions?
    • What is my average order value (AOV)? What is my customer lifetime value (CLTV)? What are my top performing products? What are my sales from new and returning customers?

Sounds familiar. I told you.

You have been using reports configured to answer one or more of these questions to drive your business. But your reports are only the tip of the iceberg. Business Intelligence is a lot more than these pre-configured reports and can help you achieve a lot more.

For example, your reports are built only on your e-commerce data. You have so much data, like data in your ERP system, that can also be leveraged (in conjunction with e-commerce data) to extract better insights. You cannot even customize these reports or build a new one for your business.

According to a recent Forrester Research report, most firms only use one-third of the data that they collect. Worse, only 29% say they are good at translating the result of data and analytics into measurable business outcomes.

But do not worry. You do not need large, bulky and complicated business intelligence tools to do that. Business intelligence tools have come a long way and the modern business intelligence and analytics platforms have emerged to meet new organizational requirements for accessibility, agility and deeper analytical insight.

By 2017, over 50% of business users and analysts in organizations will have access to self-service tools – Gartner

Magento and Business Intelligence

The Gap that Existed and Magento’s RJMetrics Acquisition

Magento, for long, has been the most adopted e-commerce platform in Alexa’s 1 million top websites list. But, one constant complaint that plagued Magento all these years was the lack of a good default reporting functionality in the platform.

Magento (a platform trusted by more than 240K merchants worldwide) to bridge this gap, acquired RJMetrics, a cloud-based analytics platform, in Aug 2016. Magento core platform now includes a powerful native analytics solution, branded as Magento Business Intelligence, that enables merchants to better understand and optimize their commerce business based on actionable data and insights into customers, merchandising, channels, and more.

The Emergence of Magento Business Intelligence

Magento Business Intelligence is a cloud hosted, a complete analytics platform that consolidates the data from Magento database, Magento extensions, and other third-party tools to draw valuable insights you need to run your business. It is a full stack solution that includes data consolidation, hosted data warehousing and dashboarding layer for in-depth Analysis.

What sets Magento Business Intelligence apart is the ease of use – enabling both technical and non-technical people to model and analyze data. It enables businesses to remove the guesswork from their decision-making process, take decisions faster, run ad-hoc reports and analysis, and innovate using data from across organizations.

Magento has made its business intelligence functionality available at two different levels.

  • Magento Business Intelligence Pro – An enterprise-grade business intelligence solution that is customizable, scalable and packed with features merchants need to power a data-drive business. Magento, with Magento BI Pro, has maintained the core offering of RJMetrics.
  • Magento Business Intelligence Essentials – This is a light version of Magento BI Pro. Magento BI Essentials is meant to be the starting point for merchants that includes a set of pre-configured reports. Magento BI Essentials does not allow businesses to add external data and customizations.

In addition to the BI tools, Magento has also improved its built-in reporting capabilities, Magento Advanced Reporting, which will be rolled out with Magento 2.2. It includes around 16 reports related to sales, category, and products – with the option of visual graphs, interactive charts, and comparative analysis.

Note – Magento Advanced Reporting is a feature and not a Magento BI product.

Here is a quick comparison of Magento Business Intelligence Essentials and Pro.

Essentials Pro
Pricing Cloud – Included in Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition pricing.

Off-Cloud – Starting at $1200/year

The Pricing for Pro is not published but is expected to start at $3000/year.
User Access Accounts 10 SaaS accounts 20 Saas accounts
Predefined Reports 5 Dashboards and 75 reports No limit on number of dashboards or reports
Integrations Includes data from Magento and Google Analytics. Gives you the flexibility to add a number of third party systems through integration.
Email Reports Yes Yes
Customizations Very limited Can be customized to your requirements.
Usability Includes tools for both business and technical users.
Full API Access No Yes
Professional Services No Includes access to analytics professional service agreements.
Assistance No Complete set up assistance and training.
Security The entire system of data transfer is encrypted and highly secure. The entire system of data transfer is encrypted and highly secure.
Idle For 1) Customers unhappy with Magento’s default reporting.

2) Customers looking for deeper insights into their Magento and Google Analytics data.

3) Customers evaluating BI for the first time and want to gain some understanding before moving to a full stack platform.

1) Customers who want to consolidate data across multiple platforms.

2) Customers who look to heavily customize their reports.

3) Customers who have more sophisticated and advanced analytical needs than those on the Essentials tier.

4) Customers that want a tool that is suited for both business users and for more technical users.

Therefore, in summary, Magento BI helps clients make decisions on the entirety of their data and gain an in-depth understanding of all the metrics they need to effectively run their business. The benefits stretch across departments from marketing, strategy, merchandising, product, and management.

How would an integrated environment make a difference?

Magento Business Intelligence essentials leverages data in Magento to present actionable insights to you across predefined categories. It does not allow businesses to import data from other critical systems like ERP, POS, and CRM for a complete review. By integrating your Magento e-commerce store with your ERP, POS, and CRM system you can bridge this gap. While the analysis is still across the predefined categories, the depth of the analysis is much more because of consolidation of data from ERP, POS, and CRM systems into the e-commerce system.

Moreover, integration ensures that data used for analytics in the Magento e-commerce system is more accurate and update. After all, your insights are only as accurate as your data.

We at i95Dev excel at driving elegance and efficiency to the world of e-commerce. With our e-commerce, integration and BI expertise we have everything it takes to help you grow your business to the next level. Interested in our services, drop us a like at info@i95dev.com or contact us here.

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Grow your Business with Magento and Business Intelligence