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3294932487?profile=RESIZE_320x320What if, as a manufacturer, publisher or IT company, you could predict the future? You’d probably start off by predicting how much inventory you need to carry, followed closely by predicting the next products your customers are going to want to buy, so you can have them ready and waiting the next time they hit “search.”

 

Magic? Not really. Impossible? No. Mining the data you already have access to about your customers and web visitors can give you amazing insight into their future behavior and preferences – but only if you capture it and use it.

 

Case in point: Netflix cashes in on their own crystal ball

When Netflix went looking to produce its own TV show to compete with cable, they – like any other business – wanted to be as sure as possible it would be a big hit. But unlike a lot of other businesses, Netflix captures and mines enormously detailed data on their customers. That’s how they predicted that their new series “House of Cards” would be a huge success before they even taped

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Eyeball$ Make the World (Wide Web) Go Round…

3294932682?profile=RESIZE_320x320Last week Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, launched Internet.org, a project that aims to provide Internet access to everyone on the planet. Yes, everyone.

Along with Facebook, the other founding members that are ready to invest are: MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung - all of which are anxious to help bring the entire world online.

"Today we connect more than 1.15 billion people each month, but as we started thinking about connecting the next 5 billion, we realized something important: The vast majority of people in the world don't have access to the Internet," Zuckerberg said.  - See more at: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/Facebook-Aims-to-Friend-the-World---With-Benefits-78773.html#sthash.ln04Bfze.dpuf

Now, why would Mark Zuckerberg and all of these companies want to support such an initiative? One theory to consider: they are seeking more eyeballs. "They're not necessarily doing this out of the goodness of their hearts," Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research,

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3294932175?profile=RESIZE_320x320

We just finished up the research and reporting for this week's InformationWeek cover story 'Blinded by Big Data,' and JC Penny is one of the companies we talk about. Under CEO Ron Johnson they made a huge pivot away from their private label brands and traditional discounting to focus on a new vision. A lot of the rhetoric was based on trends and stats they continuously referenced when they were on the road pushing the new idea.

 

Unfortunately, the planned failed and the returning CEO has kept only a few of the ideas (like store-within-a-store) but has essentially reversed Johnson's pricing, private label, and ecommerce plans.  What makes this especially interesting for data analysis is that both have referenced the same data points as the rationale for their respective changes.

 

Two CEOs, two visions, and one set of data that seems to morph as needed. The InformationWeek cover story focuses on the concept of 'data governance,' which helps establish quality standards and norms that c

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3294933227?profile=RESIZE_320x320Most online retailers collect a vast amount of information from their customers, but very few of them seem to know what to do with it beyond sending out coupons and newsletters. But ModCloth, which sells women’s clothes in retro vintage styles, has been able to harness the power of their customer data not just to increase sales but also to lowers costs.

The company uses customer feedback and data collected from its website visitors to make more informed purchasing and stocking decisions - thus lowering overhead, over-purchasing and lost revenue due to stock-outs.  It’s also used the information to develop smartphone and tablet apps that appeal more directly to its customers' tastes to drive more traffic and sales.  In fact, mobile devices account for 42% of visits to ModCloth.

ModCloth has also used its data intelligence to make its site more sticky. They have created interactive site features such as:

  • The “Be the Buyer” program invites users to vote for their favorite styles and give det
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Big Data = Big Lies

You know what they say: If you torture data long enough, it will tell you what you want to hear. And big data only lets us tell bigger lies. Yeoman's Michael Healey has released his 2012 Big Data research with InformationWeek.

The award winning author is a frequent collaborator with InformationWeek.  This new research combines results of their enterprise survey with industry trends and compelling case studies.

The report is available at http://reports.informationweek.com/abstract/81/9081/Business-Intelligence-and-Information-Management/research-big-data-smart-data.html

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