Business scenario overview - IBM Cognos

The fictional Great Outdoors company began in October as a business-to-business company.It does not manufacture its own products; rather, the products are manufactured by a third party and are sold to third-party retailers. The company built its business by selling products to other vendors. Recently, the Great Outdoors company expanded its business by creating a website to sell products directly to consumers.

The Great Outdoors organization is made up of six companies. These companies are primarily geographically-based, with the exception of GO Accessories, which sells to retailers from Geneva, Switzerland. Each of these countries has one or more branches.

The Great Outdoors company includes the following subsidiaries:

  • GO Americas
  • GO Asia Pacific
  • GO Central Europe
  • GO Northern Europe
  • GO Southern Europe
  • GO Accessories

Each of these subsidiaries sells camping equipment, golf equipment, mountaineering equipment, outdoor protection, and personal accessories. GO Accessories sells only Personal Accessories. Because the company has steadily grown into a worldwide operation over the last several years, it has been difficult for managers of the Great Outdoors company to run their branches and monitor only performance indicators based on sales. The Great Outdoors company executives need a clear view of where the pain points exist in the sales process.

Business questions to address
Based on this scenario, focus on creating a dashboard that provides insight to address the following questions, helping the Great Outdoors company sales executives to make better decisions:

  • Are we selling the right products?
  • Have we been growing our profit margin?
  • Have we had a considerable number of returns?
  • How many units of a product should we buy by each period of the year?
  • How does the performance of our business compare to last year?
  • How does the performance of our business compare to what we planned?
  • Can we add meaningful information about our competitors?
  • How successful are our promotions?

Information stored in the data warehouse of this company

The information management team of the Great Outdoors company created a datawarehouse with information about sales targets, distribution, satisfaction (customer, employee, and retailer), marketing (promotions, bundle sales, and item sales), and human resources to solve this information gap. In this, we focus on the Sales perspective in order to translate the data warehouse data into meaningful insights about the Great Outdoors company.

  • Organization
  • Product
  • Retailer
  • Order method
  • Sales staff
  • Purchase, charges and shipping from its warehouses
  • Metrics, such as quantity, gross margin, revenue, gross profit, planned revenue, sales target and return quantity

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