Big Data Blowback in Retail: Delving into Customers' Intimate Lives

conversationsIn case you missed it, this seminal post from the New York Times shows a startling example of “big data” hitting retail. Data collection and mining have enabled Target, for example, to predict what degree of pregancy young mothers are in—based on the kind of things they buy.

Although Valley visionaries and enterprise data engineers have been talking about “big data” for years, this post brings it down to the personal retail level. Due to the growing appreciation of social data and behavior, data scientists and marketers now have the glue to use data to increase relevance to customers and clients.

In this post’s main example, data engineers analyzed purchase behavior of pregnant mothers, sifting through voluminous retail data, and they found plenty of patterns that indicated that women were pregnant, down to the trimester! Obviously, enterprises have a large responsibility to use data in ways that won’t violate trust, and many will make mistakes in their efforts to pump up quarterly numbers.Put another way, buying transactions are *very* social, so retailers, whether bricks and mortar or ecommerce, will unleash tremendous intelligence in the […]