Throwback Thursday: Big Data & Analytics Edition

This week’s Throwback Thursday article comes from a Forbes.com post I authored in March of 2014 titled, “Is Big Data Today’s Sock Puppet?” To set the context of the article, recall all the hype centered on big data in 2014, as if it were capable of solving about every problem known to man. The issue of methbots, bot fraud, and unverifiable data accuracy was largely overlooked. Today those issues are undermining many initiatives. Enjoy this replay of “Is Big Data Today’s Sock Puppet?”

Click here to read the article.

The Emerging Challenge Of ‘Fake Data’

From Forbes.com on February 22, 2017…

In just the last few years, iconic names like Borders, Radio Shack and Sports Authority have all gone the way of the T-Rex…they are extinct!  Disruption is and will continue to be a constant as we can see from political campaigns to consumer’s shopping behaviors.

Today, the effects of this disruption can be seen in accelerated retail store closings, legacy brands increasingly on life support and plummeting mall real estate values.

In response, private equity, corporations, and academic institutions have responded by pouring billions of dollars into an ever-expanding universe of big data firms with services, hardware, software and course offerings all promising to find the magic potion when firms aggregate their data gold mines.

This, in turn, leads to a bright light shined on the most important variable in this equation…the data.  And the resulting reflection has uncovered continue reading.

Amazon Prime Risk: Prosper Releases Guide to Understanding Amazon Prime Members

Worthington, OH – 3/1/2017

Prosper Insights & Analytics™, a leading provider of business intelligence solutions, has released a new report available for purchase titled, “Prime Risk: A Retailer’s Guide to Understanding Amazon Prime Members.”

Over the past several years, as Amazon.com has grown its market share, loyal customer base, and product lineup, it seems that many competing retailers and brands underestimated – or were in complete denial of – Amazon’s impact on the retail industry and shifting shopping habits as consumers increasingly became comfortable purchasing online. Amazon is no longer an abstract digital pest for retailers – it’s a full-blown disruption to the industry as a whole. Shoppers, who are increasingly becoming Prime converts, LOVE the change, which in turn threatens the livelihood of every other retailer in the industry. As they gravitate toward Amazon in search of products, information, and other digital services, traditional retailers are left to compete for shrinking share of consumers’ wallets.

For retailers no longer in denial about the effect Amazon has had on both shoppers and the retail industry, this report is to serve as a guide to understanding Amazon Prime from the point of view of consumers, identifying which retailer shopper groups and formats are most at risk for losing customers to the Amazon vortex.  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Big Data & Analytics Edition

Earlier this week, I read an article in a technology publication about several University of Washington professors who are launching a new course designed to overcome what they call “bulls**t in the age of big data.” The 160 seat seminar starts in late March and filled up in the first minute of online registration. The course covers the rush to apply machine learning algorithms to big data that is oftentimes corrupt and yielding less than accurate results. Beware of the overhyped big data and its potential for revolution, warned one of the professors.

Yesterday I posted a recent interview I did with a business development consultant, John Sydnor, who warned about the emerging challenge of ‘fake data.’

The throwback article for today I wrote on March 11, 2014 and in it I warn about questionable data (i.e. fake) and the failure by many Fortune 500 companies to exploit big data for competitive advantage (i.e. hype). I also give some advice for how to upgrade your big data inputs to get more strategic outputs and go from big data to knowledge.

CLICK HERE to read “Going Beyond Big Data To Knowledge.”

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Gary Drenik is CEO of Prosper Insights & Analytics, a company that prides itself on turning data into evidence-based solutions for the C-Suite. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

Confidence and Spending Intentions Looking Good Heading Into 2017

From Forbes.com on February 3, 2017…

Consumer confidence cooled a bit in January, but stayed well above the 13 month average. What does it mean for spending? Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, weighs in, plus she takes a special look this month at how consumers feel overall about their personal financial security. Continue reading…

More Than 75% Of Macy’s Shoppers Visited Amazon For The Holidays

From Forbes on January 24, 2017:

With Macy’s wrapping up the 2016 holiday season with yet another sub-par performance, it seems the beleaguered department store can sum up its shopper sentiment with one statement: to Amazon we shall go!  According to Prosper Insights’ January 2017 survey of more than 7,500 U.S. adults, more than three-quarters (76.7%) of Macy’s core shoppers headed to Amazon.com during the fourth quarter of 2016 (October, November, and December), up marginally from the same period one year ago (76.2%) and several points higher than the overall average for shoppers in general (73.4%). [Core shoppers are defined as consumers who shop “most often” at a retailer for any one of the 14 major merchandise categories that Prosper tracks monthly – unaided, write-in questions.] Continue reading

Will 2017 Be The Year Retailers Finally Get Real?

From Forbes.com on January 17, 2017…

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” – Plato

While struggling with the topic and content of this column, the trickle of underwhelming Brick & Mortar sales results from many retailers’ holiday season began to hit the press. Many of these retailers have only now seriously begun thinking about creating a sustainable business model for the future. For some the ship may have sailed. All of which got me thinking about an article I wrote for this column three years ago. It is just as relevant today as it was in 2014. So rather than beating my head against the wall trying to reinvent the wheel, here is the article from 2014, its warnings, and even prescriptions for a new retail marketplace. Continue reading…

Overt Signs Of Growing Optimism In December’s Leading Indicators

From Forbes.com on January 10, 2017…

In 2016, many retailers found themselves at the low end of estimates. Had they had the right predictive analytics, they could have understood the market better and managed accordingly. Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, weighs in on some of Prosper’s key predictive analytics and provides much needed knowledge for retailers. Continue reading…