What is Briefcase™ – OLAP Cube and Why is it Important for Your Business?
Problem: The majority of retailers have plenty of data, but they tend to have a shortage of meaningful information or the time to digest it. Retailers need tools that allow them to quickly compare and deeply analyze their stores, items, customers, discounts, and promotions.
Solution: Briefcase™ – OLAP Cube is a decision support system specifically designed to provide Catapult® retailers with the quick information they need to succeed. The simple Briefcase user interface, combined with its powerful OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) Data Cube, is designed to empower retail executives and analysts with the ability to quickly view and compare key data marts within their retail enterprise including: Daily Sales, Hourly Statistics, Customer Activity, Items On-hand Snap Shots, and Promotions. Using these data marts, a user is free to ask thousands of important questions and quickly receive answers such as:
- How did brand X perform compared to brand Y in store location A compared to store location B, or Region A to Region B, between any two dates?
- Which stores have the highest number of voided transactions?
- Which suppliers and/or brands are providing the bulk of each store’s profits?
- Which customers are buying from department A but not department B?
- Which customers are trending away from my business?
- Who are my most profitable customers?
- How many times did a dynamic promotion or standard discount fire against items each day, and what was the cost of each promotion?
- What are sales, profits, and customer counts by zip code?
- What are the top moving items by zip code?
- Who are my best customers by zip code?
- What was the on-hand inventory count for all items, or a specific item, at a specific store on a specific date?
The reporting possibilities are endless. The ability to compare several departments, to sales, to inventory quantity, changes the way we look at everything. Having the ability to look at real-time data in a matter of seconds, the benefits are immeasurable.
– Mitchell Nol CIO, Harvest Health Foods
Data ready when and where you need it
This multi-dimensional data store (repository of set data objects), which contains the Briefcase OLAP Cube, provides quick access to pre-summarized data generated from the vast amount of Catapult Transactional Data, i.e., data that can be grouped and pivoted dynamically. It is a highly automated solution that systematically extracts only the data you want. With each new business day, the transactional data requested from the Catapult Database Management System (DBMS) continues to stay synchronized with the Briefcase OLAP Cube. Once the data is automatically synchronized, the user is free to disconnect and go mobile. This lets you work when and where you want. Once you reconnect to the network, Briefcase will automatically synchronize and update the OLAP Cube, keeping you current and ready for your next analysis and important business decision.
It is a very beneficial tool for starting with a macro view of the business while still giving the flexibility of dialing into specific data as necessary. Briefcase has allowed me to get information which was very cumbersome to find before. Briefcase has improved my analytics significantly with its ease of use.
Mike Asher CEO, Rollin’ Oats Market & Cafe
Dynamically Connected to Excel
Briefcase – OLAP Cube will turbo-charge your ability to quickly gather data and populate your most demanding Excel spreadsheets, including pivot tables. With Briefcase, you can quickly slice, dice, and pivot within the five classic pre-summarized retail data marts: Daily Sales, Hourly Statistics, Customer Activity, Items On-hand Snap Shots, and Promotions. Once the result sets are displayed within the Briefcase viewer, you can instantly send the data to an Excel spreadsheet with a single click for further analysis.
Free up your IT personnel from constantly creating ad hoc reports and data summaries
Because Briefcase’s summarized data marts are organized along business lines, users can retrieve the reports they need without involving IT. This provides management with quicker access to information and allows IT to focus on more technical issues.
With rare exception, I use Briefcase to extract data in ways we could not do before – Amazing ability. We will be expanding the number of licenses we have so other departments can benefit from Briefcase. It virtually provides every type of data analysis I need.
Dwight Chamberlain IT Administrator, Rising Tide Community Market
The ECRS Catapult Data Vision – “Accurate & Timely Data – When and How you Need it”.
Catapult’s Three Powerful Reporting Perspectives: To run at optimal levels, your business requires accurate and timely information from different perspectives within your organization.
Information Perspective One: Synchronized Transactional Detail and Reporting Catapult is an enterprise-class retail automation system that scales from a few store locations to hundreds. Known for its highly normalized data structure and rock solid data synchronization, no retail system can offer more reliable, complete, and accurate transactional data capture capability. Along with this extensive ability, Catapult has a library of over 300 reports, established from best practices as well as customer requests. Each report can be filtered by endless data dimensions.
Information Perspective Two: Visual Business Intelligence Catapult comes standard with Dash™, a built-in visualization business intelligence tool, which allows users to see their most important data elements in graphic form with drill-down capability. Dash allows high-level executives to literally view the big picture and quickly drill down to the smallest detail of the data set used to formulate the visual. As the name implies, Dash can also act as a live dashboard, where each visual graph is updated live based on user refresh settings.
Information Perspective Three: Decision Support System – OLAP Cube Briefcase’s simple user interface, combined with its powerful OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) Data Cube, is designed to allow retail executives and analysts to quickly manipulate and view the main data marts including: Daily Sales, Hourly Statistics, Customer Activity, Items On-hand Snap Shots, and Promotions. Using these data marts to make better decisions, a user is free to dive deep into data asking thousands of questions and quickly receiving answers.
It is good for getting reports, and it’s easy to use for those who do not know Excel that well. They are able to get easily readable reports. I can see more of our users relying on this in the future.
Scott Shimoda IT Administrator, Bi-Rite