WalMart uses Big Data to help determine what you may buy, as outlined in recent Gigaom report. The big question is from where does this data come?
One option is to grow your own data — with the decreasing costs of storage, computational power and emergence of cloud based offerings, this is a natural approach for both WalMart and your company. As well, third parties provide market data to support predictive analytics. For example, WalMart may determine what I may buy, considering local demographic, retail sales and consumption spending from third party sources.
Data market places are making it easier to both procure and consume third party data, allowing companies to extend traditional business analysis with mashups to market data . Data market places and analysis tools are making it easier for firms to include market information into analysis reducing the labor of parsing data, simplyfing the complexity when structuring databases and improving visibility into data sources available. The result is information mashups with real time and near real time integration of data to guide analysis.
Here are a few examples…
- Data Market places such as Infochimps and Azure Data Market place provide easy access and integration of data (e.g., census data, retail store data, hospital locations) ready for analysis
- Database streaming analytics such as IBM Infosphere Data Streams offer analysis and correlation of information to identify the data sources you need
For companies, this provides easy access to market data. For information providers, this is provides a new distribution channel and challenges managing the half life of existing data services (similar challenges from the early Internet days). Stay tuned!