Using Business Intelligence and Analytics Tools in Self-Storage

Kat Shenoy and Sachin Bhakta Comments
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What approach did you take when it came to evaluating BI tools?

Our management-software vendor introduced us to QlikTech, a Swedish company that created an application called QlikView. QlikView provides an interactive reporting tool that allows us to create dynamic, visually appealing reports very quickly. We looked at some similar offerings but soon realized QlikView was the only product on the market that was cost-effective for a business of our size.

What advantages is Stor-All looking to leverage by implementing QlikView?

QlikView's interactive reporting provides us with a window into the operation and performance of our company on a daily basis, as well as a comparative view of the past and present. Stor-All now has the ability to see exactly what is happening at the facility level and make rapid adjustments to current market conditions. Back-office analysis of facility performance was labor intensive, transposing data to spreadsheets then creating charts and tables for review. With QlikView and a self-storage manager, our information is now always available, up-to-date and in a format that is informative and visually appealing.

Case Study: Mini-Pac

Mini-Pac is one of the largest self-storage operators in California and Hawaii. Locations in San Pedro and Honolulu have more than 3,000 units. Mini-Pac is part of the Decurion Corp., which also operates swap meets and has various other business interests. Andrea Hughes, general manager, shared her thoughts on how implementing a BI and analytics solution could make a difference to their business, and why she’s considering implementing one in the near future.

Why does Mini-Pac feel the need for a BI and analytics solution?

Measuring, monitoring and reviewing the business performance will provide clarity for change. We want to be able to look at information from different perspective and facets to give us a clearer viewpoint of business trends, and the answer to this lies in making use of a business-intelligence tool.

How do you foresee implementation of a BI tool driving your business growth?

By implementing a BI tool, we intend to get insight into whether our business strategy is successful. Also, by using this tool, we believe new opportunities for growth will be realized through better alignment of the execution of the four Ps—product, price, promotion and place.

What aspects need to be considered while evaluating a BI and analytics solution?

The most important aspect is a provider that will provide a complete overview of the product to help you decide whether it offers all that you are looking for in a BI solution. In addition, look for provider that will offer a host of products and options for varied business requirements since one size does not fit all. Finally, the cost involved in procuring the solution should make business sense.

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