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Retailers use big data in hopes of bigger sales

Christina Medici Scolaro

Weekly spreadsheets and other documents at some retailers are hitting the shredder as merchants invest in big data platforms in an attempt to push sales higher.

What could take hours or days for a retailer to figure out why certain items are selling more than others or why things are returned could take a big data platform just minutes or seconds.

Some retailers, like Nordstrom, have had internal systems built to do the analyzing. Other companies, such as Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus, have sought out a cloud-based big data platform to do such work.

A system from eCommera that's used by Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus provides retailers an analytics dashboard along with a list of simple changes that could save money, ranked by profitability.

Other technology firms such as Cogenta, Market 6 and Applied Predictive Technologies sell systems that carry out similar functions.

--By Christina Medici Scolaro

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