Contemporary Analysis

Data Science

Grant Stanley

Predictive Analytics in Retail

Data is no good if you can't get it quickly enough and act quickly enough on it. Its all about getting the data fast and acting on it fast - Andrew Pole

Predictive analytics solves many differnt problems in a many facets of business. The New York Times published an article in February about the retail chain, Target. Target knew that if they could predict buying patterns in a certain group of consumers, they could influence those consumers purchases. Target was smart, they knew exactly who they wanted to go after.

Andrew Pole, a statistician working for Target, created a pregnancy-prediction model that was able to track spending habits and predict when a woman is pregnant. Pole said that, “We knew that if we could identify them in their second trimester, there’s a good chance we could capture them for years. As soon as we get them buying diapers from us, they’re going to start buying everything else too. If you’re rushing through the store, looking for bottles, and you pass orange juice, you’ll grab a carton. Oh, and there’s that new DVD I want. Soon, you’ll be buying cereal and paper towels from us, and keep coming back.”

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