The use of analytics in retail is not new, but it is a fairly new practice for many in the campus retail environment. Various POS providers are adding analytics modules, and other industry suppliers, such as Verba, also provide some analytics capability. Improved data-driven decision making is critical for retail businesses today (large or small), and will be even more so in the future.
As with many books in the "Dummies" series, this book provides a good introduction and some practical action items for individuals or businesses that lack experience with business analytics. From its description:
Business analytics isn't a new concept, but new technologies are emerging that make it possible for average business users to analyze and understand the data. This book offers principles and tools you can use to discover how your customers behave – and how to put that knowledge into action to drive more sales. In this book, you'll learn how to: Understand the basic concepts of business analytics; Dispel business intelligence myths; Set up scorecards and dashboards; and, Measure consumer sentiment through social media.Industry icon Rich McDaniel might refer to the concepts here as "measuring what matters." The book is a good one to help retailers start thinking more about how they use data in decision making. Some of the chapters include topics like: using analytics to meet the demands of smarter consumers, measuring the impact of decisions, and ten ways to improve shopping experiences. If you are looking for some summer reading and have yet to start using analytics, this might be the [digital] book for you!