The new buzzword: “Big Data”

“Big Data” is the hot topic in a lot of business articles these days, and is a catchy way of describing “data mining” of the information in a company’s data warehouse. The question discussed this week (on RetailWire) is whether retail companies are maximizing their use of “Big Data” in order to drive their business. My opinion? It’s a mixed report card so far:

It’s clear (without taking one side or another) that the Democrats managed “big data” more effectively than the Republicans in the last election. A lesson learned for all retailers and marketers: Put the time, effort and expense into your data warehouse and it will pay dividends. Among retailers, Amazon has long been at the top of the list for effective data management and addressing specific consumer interests. Macy’s probably leads the pack of more traditional omnichannel retailers, especially through its “My Macy’s” initiative and the micro-targeting of its print offers.

Bottom line: The capability is there because the top-tier retailers are already doing great things with “Big Data.” Those who aren’t prepared to make the same commitment will have to deal with the consequences.


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