I am personally fascinated by predictive analytics and the ability to combine data elements to create an approximate idea of what the future may hold. Although data modeling has been used quite extensively in certain industries (e.g., weather predictions based on specific historic models and key indicators, insurance estimates and actuarial tables, etc.), the concept of applying similar science to retail holds unrealized potential. Given technology advancements and data-mining tools, potential future predictions — in other words, answering the question “What lies ahead?” — seems far more attainable than ever before. Considering big data already captured within the retail sector, it becomes mind-boggling.
Virtually all industries have pools of information that could be used for predictive purposes. This reminds me of a presentation I sat through nearly three decades ago by a then-IBM executive who suggested that the future will be owned by those who have the keys to data and the intelligence that it generates. And, as recently as this month’s National Retail Federation event, the power of data was repeatedly emphasized.
This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. To read the full article, click here.
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