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Demystifying Market Basket Analysis

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Since the introduction of electronic point of sale, retailers have had at their disposal an incredible amount of data. The challenge has been how to leverage this data to produce business value. Most retailers have already figured out a way to consolidate and aggregate their data to understand the basics of the business: what are they selling, how many units are moving and the sales amount. However, few have ventured far enough to analyze the information at its lowest level of granularity: the market basket transaction. The main reason for this is, perhaps, the preconceived notion that looking at data at this level of granularity is expensive and has limited business value. This article will explore the business value of market basket analysis through real scenarios, outlining along the way why the users don't need a strong statistics background to understand it and benefit from it.

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