Ventana Research
JUN 24, 2013 10:14am ET

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Big Data: What a Difference a Year Makes

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Users of big data analytics are finally going public. At the Hadoop Summit last June, many vendors were still speaking of a large retailer or a big bank as users but could not publically disclose their partnerships.

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Comments (2)
Great column. I worked in retail, for a national chain that will go unnamed but is annually ranked in the top three worst department stores for whom to work. Our inventory, floor planning, promotional scheduling, employee handling, and pretty much every other system you could think of was outdated and archaic, resulting in the closing of three branches during the two years, TWO YEARS, that I worked there. Inventory was a two and a half day process that involved every employee abandoning their families for that time, and scouring the entire store with handheld scanners, and restickering every single item at Dil- oops I mean the store.

Now I work for a Hadoop as a Service platform, and I see just how much their lack of success could have been reversed if they had just moved forward a bit. They based all projections on doctored numbers of past sales instead of real actionable insights. They never looked at style trends, only the numbers of items bought. So, let's say a sorority thought it would be a good idea to dress up as old ladies for halloween, and they bought a bunch of ugly private label stretchy old lady pants. That would signal an increase, thus that meant that we should stock more.

Interesting comments about Macy's by the way, as I always viewed them as forward thinking, especially when I would walk across the mall to see how they were doing their merchandising. Then I would come back to the department I managed, and it looked like a retirement home because I wasn't allowed to think out of the box, and had to do things the we always did.

Posted by josh p | Tuesday, June 25 2013 at 12:02PM ET
Interesting perspectives (but shouldn't it be 'tidal wave' rather than 'title wave').
Posted by Carter S | Wednesday, June 26 2013 at 12:27PM ET
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