Retail POS Data Analytics Getting Easier

Photo: Decisions Decisions; Andrew Stawarz, CC license Companies making products sold at retail stores long ago realized they had minimal visibility of how their products are displayed at the retail shelf and how well their products ‘turned’ and produced revenue for them and the retailer. But today they can have visibility, and investments in software, services, analytics, […]

Data Vis example

Data Virtualization vs. Data Visualization

Image: visualization of data showing places in New York City frequented by tourists (red) and locals (blue); by Eric Fisher; Creative Commons license. Another emerging segment of the analytics software market is data virtualization (DV), referred to by some as Information-as-a-Service (IaaS), which enables access to multiple data sources, usually in real time, without the […]


What is the Value of Adaptive Software?

Image: opensource.com The term ‘adaptive software’ has at least two meanings: 1) software that is created with built-in capabilities to change its logic in the future; 2)  software that enhances an existing software application without significantly changing the underlying code of that application. I have not seen real-world examples of 1) above, so I will focus […]

Saas Fee

How to Make Sure You’re Really Getting SaaS

Another kind of Saas: The village of Saas-Fee and surrounding mountains, in southwestern Switzerland. Photo by Robbie Shade, CC license. Everyone has a SaaS version of the software your business is considering, right?  Vendors know that terminology like SaaS and cloud trigger generally positive reactions from potential customers — having these options implies the vendor […]

software vendor med

Some Advice for Application Vendors

Image: “Computer Software Development” by Fabio Bruna, CC license Being on the “buy side” of corporate software for many years I’ve seen numerous pitches by software vendors. A few were excellent, most were forgettable, and quite a few were incoherent. Like actress Clara Peller in the Wendy’s ads — for those of you alive in […]

JDA shelf

Is Flowcasting Legit?

Image by JDA, Inc. Flowcasting is the estimation of future demand using data about the flow of products through your supply chain, to your customer and through their network to the shelf and checkout.  Ostensibly, flowcasting gives you a fresher picture of demand than traditional forecasting, which mostly uses historical demand patterns and demand spike […]

Nike store

Case Study: Nike’s Adventure with Supply Chain Planning Software

A Nike Factory store in Atlantic City, NJ.  Photo by Shabai Liu, CC license. Background In February 2001 Nike, Inc. announced that it would miss sales and profit targets for the quarter due to problems with supply chain software it had begun to implement the previous year. The company said that it had experienced unforeseen […]

Hong Kong Shopping

Demand Signal Applications: the Basics

The Landmark Shopping Mall in Hong Kong.  Photo by See-ming Lee, CC license. It’s now possible to string together data points collected from the shelf (POS) and upstream from there (your supply chain) to optimize your sourcing, production and distribution decisions.  Application vendors are calling this Demand Signal Management (DSM).  It’s not new; the same […]


FUD Still Here 35 Years Later

Photo by Jimmy Brown, CC license   FUD stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and was a phrase used in the early 1980s to describe the unsettling and confusing atmosphere companies faced as they began investing heavily in software applications. In 1979 Gideon Gartner, formerly a top technology analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., capitalized on […]


Don’t See a Need for Mobile in Your Business? Keep Looking.

Talk about disruption!  An anti-Uber taxi protest in London, June 11, 2014.  Photo by David Holt, CC license. Does anyone think Uber would exist without mobile computing? You might think of mobile as providing convenience, which it does, but there are deeper and more significant advantages of having mobile as an asset in parts of […]