Business use case - IBM Cognos

“Business scenario and personas used in this book” describes the fictitious Great Outdoors company scenario that we use throughout this. In the following chapters, we address some questions from the Great Outdoors executives and provide relevant information to help them get better insight into their business performance and ultimately get better decisions:

  • Are we selling the right products, do we need to discontinue some products?
  • The Great Outdoors company does not manufacture its own products. It sells products from third-party manufacturers to resells. What are the Great Outdoors company’s lowest selling products? Are we making a profit by selling these products?

  • Are we increasing our gross profit (margin)?
  • Can we compare gross profit by all the Great Outdoors company regions? And by all product lines? Which product lines are best performing so we can concentrate on them in all regions?

  • Do we have a considerable number of product returns? We want to see the quantity of returned products by product lines?
  • Can we compare that with the quantity that was sold to see the percentage of returned items? Do we have some outliers among products with the higher percentage of returns? Maybe we need to consider another manufacturer for these products?

  • How many units of a product should I buy for each period of the year?
  • Can we predict how many units of each product that Great Outdoors company has to buy to satisfy the needs of the market? Can we make that prediction based on the historical data?

  • How is the performance of our business against last year?
  • We want a report on which we can compare current revenue data with the data from previous years.

  • How are we doing compared to the plan (actual versus planned)?
  • Can we compare our revenue with the planned revenue? Can we add some visual representation in a form of charts to get an immediate insight just by taking a quick view of a report?

  • Could we add some information about our competitors?
  • Can we include data from external sources, such as the internet, to our dashboards? Or information about our competitors that is publicly available? Or reports from a stock exchange or currency exchange rates from a bank internet site?

  • How successful are our promotions?

The marketing department is responsible for organizing campaigns and promotions. We need a deeper insight into profitability of these campaigns. We need information about achieved revenue and profit. What are the most successful campaigns? Maybe we can focus on them in all Great Outdoors company regions?

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