Oracle Retail Data Model
By David Dorf on Apr 27, 2009
An important function of IT at any retailer is to turn data into information. Sounds a little cliche, but its important now more than ever. Most retailers collect every transaction from every store, track every movement of goods, and record every customer service interaction. So there's no shortage of data, but how does one translate all that data into actionable information? How can information be used to make better decisions?
If you don't have a data warehouse, or you have multiple siloed data warehouses that need to be combined, then Oracle Retail Data Model (ORDM), which was announced in a press release today, deserves consideration. It runs on Oracle's database and easily makes use of Oracle's business intelligence suite (OBIEE+) on the front-end (although other tools are also possible).
ORDM incorporates all the latest technology including OLAP cubes, data mining, and optional use of Exadata, Oracle's data warehouse appliance. This gives retailers access to advanced analytics such as forecasting out-of-stock situations, understanding hidden patterns for loss prevention, contribution and market basket analysis, product affinity, customer clustering and segmentation, halo impact and promotional lift.
If you recall the previous posting on Inmon vs Kimball, then ORDM follows Inmon's designs. It provides 3NF tables, based on ARTS standards, into which raw data is loaded. Then internal ETL aggregates the data for faster reporting. This approach gives retailers access to both summary and detailed data.
For those that are wondering about RDW, its still alive and kicking too.