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Insights into big data for retailers

Nov 19th 2014, 09:06

Insights into big data for retailers

Are you keeping track of a potential revolution called big data?

Internationally, everyone is talking about big data and there is a distinct possibility that it will change the world. Big data refers to our ability to collect and analyse the vast amounts of data we are generating in the world.

The ability to harness the ever-expanding amounts of data is completely transforming our ability to understand the world and everything within it. The advances in analysing big data allow us to, for example, decode human DNA in minutes. Take this business example that was quoted on one of the sites I visited.

“Wal-Mart is able to take data from your past buying patterns, their internal stock information, your mobile phone location data, social media as well as external weather information and analyse all of this in seconds so it can send you a voucher for a BBQ cleaner to your phone – but only if you own a barbeque, the weather is nice and you currently within a 5 kilometre radius of a Wal-Mart store that has the BBQ cleaner in stock.”

That's scary stuff, but one step at a time; let's first look at why we have so much more data than ever before.

One of the research articles on big data mentions 'datafication of the world'. This datafication is caused by a number of things including the adoption of social media, the digitalisation of books, music, and videos, the increasing use of the internet as well as cheaper and better sensors that allow us to measure and track everything.

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November 2014
Fatti’s & Moni’s

In 1896, Luigi Fatti opened the doors of his tiny grocery store to do business with the citizens of a young Johannesburg. To cater for the many Italians in this roaring and hard-drinking community, the little shop sold specialities such as macaroni, olive oil and wines from Italy. Read more
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