Improve your Retail business processes with Retail Analytics

In the ‘Big Data’ Retail Business world, we can detect 5 types of analytics, namely :

  • Descriptive analytics
  • Inquisitive analytics (also mentioned as Diagnostic analytics)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Prescriptive analytics
  • Pre-emptive analytics

Those 5 types should co-exist. One isn’t better than the other, they are just different. All of them you need to obtain a complete overview of your retail process.

Scheme :










Descriptive analytics :

With descriptive analytics, you can answer the question ‘What happened when ?’.

You can divide your retail process flows in different sub-processes, namely :

– Carrier process monitoring

– Route process monitoring

– Terminal process monitoring

– Productivity monitoring

– Financial process monitoring

– Order process monitoring

descriptive retail








Per sub-process, you can integrate some very important measurements (KPIs) :

Carrier process monitoring

  1. Planning inbound bay
  2. Capacity utilization
  3. Resource utilization
  4. Load balancing

Route Process monitoring

  1. Lane utilization
  2. Scheduling accuracy
  3. Line haul efficiency
  4. Planning efficiency
  5. Deployment efficiency

Terminal process monitoring :

  1. dock productivity
  2. vehicle loading time
  3. vehicle unloading time
  4. dispatch operations efficiency
  5. labor efficiency
  6. carrier selection
  7. on-time vehicle arrival
  8. Order receipt accuracy (conform goods)
  9. Percentage of goods damaged
  10. Damages as a % of throughout

Productivity monitoring

  1. Loading efficiency
  2. On-time delivery %
  3. Average transit time
  4. Cost of transportation
  5. Empty miles driven

Financial process monitoring

  1. Net revenue per terminal
  2. Fuel surcharge per terminal
  3. Freight bill audit (conform rules)
  4. Bill processing
  5. Payment service
  6. Total cost of transportation as a % of delivered sales

Order process monitoring

  1. Order receipt time
  2. Order information accuracy
  3. Revenue per order
  4. Percent order discount
  5. Order cancellations
  6. Order returns
  7. Order fulfillment %


Inquisitive analytics :

Inquisitive analytics answers the question why something happened on a certain moment in your retail processes.

Some examples based on the KPIs mentioned above :

  • Why are there a lot of waiting times at the loading/unloading bay ?
  • Why has the number of returns risen again ?
  • Damaged goods : is there something wrong with a certain material ?


Predictive analytics :

Predictive analytics provides your company with actionable insights based on measurements.

Your predictive analytics part can be subdivided in the following domains :

  1. Transportation management
  2. Inventory management
  3. Human Resource management
  4. Financial management
  5. Marketing and sales

Per domain, you can integrate some analytics monitoring tools.

For example :

– Transportation management :

– Carrier performance

– Supplier Compliance

– Cycle Time

– Route Optimization

– Maintenance monitoring (internal and external transport)

– Inventory management :

– Forecasting inbound goods

– Inventory goods

– Warehouse capacity planning

– Order profile – picking profile

– Human Resource management :

-Manpower allocation inbound

-Manpower allocation outbound

-Training and succession planning

– Financial Management :

-Budget planning

-Fixed Asset Return

-Financial ratio

-Cost-Benefit Analysis


– Marketing and sales :

– Customer Service level

– Customer Portfolio

– Customer Profitability


Prescriptive analytics :

With prescriptive analytics you try to see what the effect of future decisions will be in order to adjust the decisions before they are actually made. Prescriptive analytics will improve decision-making a lot as future outcomes are taken into consideration in the prediction analytics.


Pre-emptive analytics :

Pre-emptive analytics answers the questions : ‘What can I do more ?’ or ‘What can I change more ?’.