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Retailers capturing data to personalize products and services

Rachel Wheeler Archive
While some people are still uncertain about the actual definition of big data, they know enough to understand that it's the key to future success. Rather than making important business decisions based on analysts' gut instincts, they are relying on data quality and qualitative information.

Retailers, in particular, have a lot to gain by getting on board with big data, reports The Guardian. Using the information they have stored in their databases, companies can develop personalized offers for customers based on previous purchases, web or mobile browsing and social media posts.

Walmart has been one of the biggest data adopters as it looks to improve its profit margins, Thomas van Manen writes in a recent article for VINT Labs. By collecting customers' information over time and tapping into unstructured data, Walmart can see when users tweet about something and then recommend products in its inventory that are catered to those interests.

The Guardian explains that companies like Amazon and Google have been doing this for years, and through these strategies have managed to improve customers' experiences and also cut costs by reducing unnecessary or ineffective ad spending.