Posts tagged ‘Wal-Mart’

McKinsey Study: Some Great Stats to Chew On

By Mary Ludloff

In the spirit of full disclosure, I decided to save my health care post (I may separate it into two parts) because if you are not familiar with the U.S. health care system—past, present, and possible futures—you need a bit of background to understand how broken it is as well as how it compares to other sectors in the “big data and analytics world.” What’s really interesting about the McKinsey Study is that it looks at several industries across the big data spectrum, from novice to advanced, and needless to say, health care is on the low end of this one! There are a lot of reasons for this—that’s why I’ve got two posts in the works—but it’s safe to say that it comes down to privacy (not necessarily a bad thing) and lack of competition. Look for my health care posts beginning next week and if you haven’t already, check out my first set of takeaways from the McKinsey study.

Now, on to some fun McKinsey stats to chew on. (more…)

June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm 2 comments

Tales of Beers and Diapers

By Terence Craig

There is an apocryphal story that is often told to illustrate data mining concepts.  The story is about beer and diaper sales and usually goes along the lines of:

|INSERT MAJOR RETAILER NAME| found on |INSERT DAY OF THE WEEK| that beer and diaper sales were strongly correlated.  Once noticed on |INSERT BI TOOL OF CHOICE|, it was found |PICK ONE|:

  • That diapers are too heavy for recently pregnant women so they ask their husbands to pick them up coming home from work and since hubby is off the clock and ready to get his drink on, he also picks up beer.
  • That a diaper emergency occurs fairly late in the evening and the husband is sent out while the new mother cares for the baby.  Being annoyed, he also picks up a 12 pack to relax.
  • That |INSERT SOME EQUALLY GROSS STEREOTYPICAL ASSUMPTION ABOUT THE U.S. WORKING CLASS PARENT|.

The brilliant analyst at |SAME MAJOR RETAILER AS ABOVE| intuits that a simple relocation of beer next to diapers will lead to more purchases of beer and beer sales improve by |INSERT HIGHER %|.

(more…)

March 2, 2011 at 3:37 pm 7 comments

Strata Sneak Peek: Why Nobody Does It Better Than Wal-Mart

One of the first big data big analytics chasm crossers.

By Mary Ludloff

This has been a long couple of weeks at PatternBuilders. We’ve been working on our latest analytics platform release (sleep deprived engineers translates into “fun” for the entire team) and putting the finishing touches on our Strata Conference session presentation, “Retail: Lessons Learned from the Original Data-Driven Business and Future Directions.”

Now I don’t want to steal any thunder from the actual session, but as is the case with most big data and analytics discussions, there is simply too much great material (no pun attended) and too little time to go over it all.  So, I decided to blog about some of the material that got cut out. (more…)

January 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm 5 comments


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