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Big Data, Whats the Big Deal?

Word Cloud "Big Data"

Big Data is transforming our world. Providing insight into decision-making processes that span from social interaction, science and business, just to name a few. Our increasing engagement with technology is tracking our information on all of our touch-points, creating larger sets of data than ever before.

So what’s the big deal on Big Data? And why is it all a buzz?  

The truth is, the big deal isn’t the large amounts of data or even our ability to store it. Rather, the key is our ability to analyze the large volumes of stored data and then mold them into better business decisions.

The business of retail is no different. Big Data is increasingly becoming a driving force in the boardroom. By exploiting data on buying patterns, retailers are able to plan their upcoming seasons with much greater accuracy. Big Data even goes as far as to analyze individual customers. Certain retailers are putting rules in place that after analyzing inventory information, customer profiles and their location via their mobile phone, they are sending tailored offers in real-time as they navigate a store.

This practice has caused retailers to received backlash from both the media and customers on the use of personal data, collecting information on social media use and buying patterns.  This is often seen as exploitation of one’s privacy. In a recent interview, Julie Bernard, Macy’s vice president of customer strategy explains that the industry has not properly explained the benefits that the customer receives with the analysis of their data. Bernard explains that customers want relevance in their buying experience. Without capitalizing on this data shoppers become dissatisfied. In order to play in the customer-centric field that is today’s retail industry, data analysis is inevitable. Through the analysis of Big Data, retailers are able to satisfy the demands of their customers.

As a love hate relationship, Big Data is a reality and the consumer’s use of technology is only further evolving its importance. Embracing it may be the only option.

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