Traditional retailers generate and capture a wealth of data—most notably, customer transaction histories that can reveal detailed product affinities and promotional and marketing response rates. The emergence of big data and advanced analytical tools means that retailers can capture even greater value from such information, provided they know how to analyze and interpret it. Big data can explain the who, what, when, where, why, and how of retailing.
Although some leading companies have gained a reputation for deft data handling, most retailers have not yet built the analytical capabilities and internal processes necessary to take advantage of the information they can access.
Mastery of big data is important today and will become a critical capability over time. Here are ways retailers can get started with big data: