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How more data can fuel the growth of retail analytics

Rachel Wheeler Archive

There's a lot of optimism in the retail sector that with better access to good, clean customer data, business leaders can achieve stronger results. With cloud computing on the rise and information more readily available online now than ever before, it's a promising time for big data analytics.

All sorts of sellers are making their moves. Everyone, from small-time shopkeepers to major players like Amazon and Wal-Mart, is hoping that now's the time to strike it rich with analytics. If they have access to people's financial and demographic information and they can verify data quality, the sky's the limit.

Many merchants are working with analytics firms in order to improve in this area and match their competitors' efforts. According to Forbes, they have a variety of goals - among them finding trading opportunities, managing risk and meeting regulatory requirements. Brian Sentance, CEO of analytics startup Xenomorph, told the news source that business users are looking for data sets from many different asset classes.

"We are turning around the model and allowing people to use the same system to publish their own data sets and host them in the cloud," said Sentance. "The fact that we are located in the cloud makes it easier to deliver data to any device. We are trying to make it easy for consumers to use one consistent interface and data model to access multiple sources of data."

It can't be overstated, though, how vital it is to maintain data quality when working with large volumes of customers' information. Slipshod data management processes can have disastrous consequences - a batch of bad addresses might lead to wasted time and money sending faulty mailings, while wrong financial histories could produce a massive blunder in sales strategy. High-quality data is the key to a productive future in retail analytics.