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Management Support Systems (MSS)

The practice of "Tableau" in Decision Support Systems

Narrative of the Tableau Results

In this part we aim to elaborate the process of preparation for the DSS project which focuses on sales of different product categories in different geographical location and time zones. We have prepared four dashboards on Tableau in order to respond the questions we were assigned to reply for this assignment. The introduction of these dashboards are as follows.

Recommendation System

Q1: What is the next product a customer will buy in the next month given their previous buying behaviour and product airtime?

Q2: In what product category is a customer likely to buy their next product, given their previous buying behaviour and product airtime?

The “Recommendation System” dashboard mainly focuses on showing the top product categories which have drawn from real datasets in order to find firstly what are the top product categories and then which group of shoppers tend to buy from what specific market division. In other words there are five groups of customers each of which tend to buy some types of products more, which are shown in the Recommendation System dashboard. This sheet in the first graph shows the greatest records by labeling the most common type of product, while the bigger the square, it means the more records. In the second graph there are six types of customers and the diagram shows the ratio of records which have bought by different shopper groups from particular category of product. Finally the last graph in this sheet displays how much different category of products have been affected by advertising after their airtime. The bigger the square the more affected by ads and also the darker the color the higher number of records in that specific type of product. .

Our analysis shows that the top product categories are Health/Beauty, Home Decor, Electronic and Housewares. Each of these product categories and the rest which the dashboard displays tend to be bought in varied portions by five customer groups which our analysis also shows the details of these variety. The analysis of this dataset displays all customers from all groups tend to buy from Health/ Beauty, Home Decor and Electronics more than others, however, different groups opt to buy in varied portions. For instance, the shoppers of group 4 have the maximum records of buying and the group 5 has the least records. The sequence of these variation are drawn in this dashboard.

Our analysis shows that the most affected product category after airtime relates to Home Decor and Health/ Beauty products which show the greatest records and production airtime minutes. All in all the results of this dashboard are as follows:

Top product categories: Health/Beauty, Home Decor, Electronic, Housewares, Accessories, Entertainment, Textiles & Furniture, Apparel and Jewelry.

Top Shopaholic customers: Customer 4 > Customer 3 > Customer 0 > Customer 1 > Customer 5.

Top affected product categories by ads (In terms of number of records and production airtime mins): Health/ Beauty and Home Decor

Sales by Geography & Time zone

Q3: What are the products and product categories that sell better in a particular geographic, time zone, and customer segment?

Under this dashboard, there are four sections, including Geography by Time Zone, Unit Sold by Product and Product Category, Percentage of Total Unit Sold by Product and Product Category, and Unit Sold by Product Category sections in respective order. In order to be able to easily observe the overall product sales performance by state and time zone, white circles displayed on the map in each state are used to represent numbers of product sold within that specific area. Size of these circles implies the numbers of sold products, ranging from the smallest circle ( i.e. 1 unit sold) to the largest circle (approximately 44,000 units sold). The map is categorized into varied time zones while in diverse colors. To illustrate, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington states, which are located in the west of United States and Pacific Standard time area, are grouped in purple color. Users can use filter function on the right of the page to see sales performance of each specific shopper segment or multiple shopper segments by selecting the dropdown choice. After selecting shopper segment, users may further select state to see sales performance of a specific state by clicking that state on the map. After select shopper segment and state, the data in other sections will change consequently to the selection. Under Unit Sold by Product and Product Category section, product categories listed in y axis and number of product sold in x axis can guide which are the best-seller products and also it displays from which category by showing dots in varied colors which represent the products. In the percentage section (%) the Total Unit Sold by Product and Product Category section, users can observe the best-seller product in each category in percentage. Lastly, Unit Sold by Product Category shows the best-seller product category and how many items are sold in this period of time.

Best sale weekdays

Q4: Is there a best time of day to sell a particular product or product category?

Accessories > Monday > 9:00

Home Decor > Sunday > 12:00

Health & Beauty > Friday and Saturday > 21:00

Apparel > Friday > 9:00

According to our analysis on these datasets with Tableau we have observed that some days have more records than other days of a the week. In other words, regarding our findings, there are some product categories which have better selling records in specific time and weekdays. For instance, the greatest records of Health and Beauty products appeared on Friday and Saturday. Basically there are three types of products which tend to have varied records with eye catching differences throughout the days of a week, meanwhile the rest of the products tend to stay stable regarding their sale records. Following up our findings, sale records tend to change dramatically throughout weekdays for Health and Beauty, Home Decor and Jewelry products, while some types such as Textile and Furniture incline to not to change and stay stable throughout weekdays. There is another interesting observation which we have found in our analysis which shows that Accessories and Apparel have better sale in the first days of a week such Monday and Tuesday. Our results show that the greatest number of records on average are for the Health and Beauty and Home Decor which generally tend to sale more in weekends.

Brand Affinity

Q: What is the brand affinity (personal connection with the brands QVC sells) for QVC’s different customer segments?

As brand affinity, or how customers connect to brands, can be observed from sales volume of the brands comparing to the competitors among the same category, the first section Brands by Best Seller of this dashboard shows the best-selling brands through different sizes of bubble in different colors. Size of bubble implies popularity of the brands in term of sales volume; and color represents each brand name. For example, the best-selling brand, which is connected to all customer segments, is Emjoi, demonstrating the largest size bubble in yellow color. In the following section Brands by Sales Volume, the table shows the sales performance of each brand by week in numerical records, highlighting from lightest color shade (lowest unit sold) to the darkest color shade (highest unit sold). Users can simply click on the bubble to see the sales number on the table and can also see information by separating into customer segmentation and product category through the filter functions on the top right of the page, which will support users to find which brand can do the best in specific customer group and compare brands’ sales numbers among the same product category.

Overview of the workbooks

Here is the link to find the work books in the Tableau public platform.

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