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Retailers making big investments in big data

Richard Jones Archive

Investing in big data analytics can be a costly endeavor for any company, but in the retail sector, executives are beginning to realize that the expenditure is worth it. By putting funding into analytical tools now, merchants can expect serious payoffs down the road.

Major retailers are getting on board with the real-time analytics movement. Retail Info Systems News recently reported that Sears is one example of such a seller. The chain has always been interested in gathering information about its customers, but it's now deciding that it needs more efficient solutions for crunching numbers quickly. By analyzing data in real-time rather than conducting postmortem sales analysis later, companies can make more sales.

RIS News stated that Sears chose Hadoop as its business analysis tool because it wanted to use a cloud-based platform that would operate quickly and nimbly, all while keeping costs under control. Aashish Chandra, divisional vice president of Sears Holdings Corporation, told the news source that all of those factors led him to take action.

"That's what triggered us to actually look into a different solution," Chandra said. "We made mistakes on our way and eventually looked into Hadoop, less than three years ago, with a small proof of concept, including just eight nodes. Before we knew it we found it to be the answer to a lot of questions that we were unable to solve. That's the reason we started to look deeper into Hadoop."

The business world is rapidly moving in this direction - companies don't just need data, they need it fast. Those who invest in tools with real-time analytical capabilities will be the ones who get ahead.

The next step in this progression will be a movement toward greater data quality. Companies should act quickly, but only with information that's reliable and actionable.