The Data Age

Big Data and Living in an Age of Data

The Data Age - Big Data and Living in an Age of Data

Predictive Analytics and Big Data Conference

I just spent the day at a great conference at Medtronics, where the topics included predictive analytics aka data science and big data. There was a great turn out with about 500 people attending.

It was great to meet people from various companies like SAP, IBM, Target, and Netezza. We had some very enjoyable conversations about social and how analytics can help improve customer insight. Some of the takeaways for me were the final screen, which is everything. Soon we will be using anything as a device. I do think this is coming; it is only a matter of time.

Another point was the different between private data and pattern data and how consumers will have lockboxes for private data and give permission that can be revoked to pattern data. Pattern data are things like click streams, not really private but data that can help a company provide better personalized services to customers.

A big topic was collaboration. How collaboration is going to be the new normal. I totally agree, it is how I do business and more and more we will see people look to this model as a way to interact with customers.

I enjoyed things so much, I talked to the sponsors to try and get the conference on retail and consumer products to be hosted at where I work. That will take some effort on my part, but it would make sense.

Was it a Smart Move to Open Early on Black Friday?

It has been nearly a month since the Thanksgiving Day early opening making it Black Thursday for some instead of Black Friday.  So the question that everyone is asking is, was that early open a smart move?  It is a fair question and one that the numbers may answer.


We saw some numbers showing that consumers were very much in a deal hunting mood this year.  Fair enough, the economy is still tough.  So the next question is, did those deals help?  For some companies it did improve market share but at the cost of profit performance.  We already know what happened to Best Buy, and chances are it is going to be the indicator of what the rest of the sector will show us.  However, one company to watch will be Sears.


Sears bucked the early opening and as a result, it may show us what next year will have in store for us in terms of opening hours for Black Thursday/Friday.