By now everyone from your kid’s baseball coach to the Avon lady representative can give you an earful about how (big) data and analytics lead to better decisions. But if that’s the case, why are so many of us seeing so many lousy offers?

A few years ago we might have been able to argue that retailers, and other marketers, thought that big data was just a bunch of hype that didn’t actually lead to better returns. But we’ve come a long way since then.

The Value of Shopper Insights

A recent survey, conducted by RetailWire and commissioned by big data analytics provider Alteryx, reveals that 73 percent of retailers consider shopper insights to be very important or essential to the performance of the departments in which they work. In addition, 76 percent think leveraging shopper insights is important to the performance of the company as a whole.

The same survey indicates 81 percent of respondents are collecting data relative to things like demographics, social media activity, online purchase and browsing data, loyalty program activity, customer interaction/complaint data, 3rd party research data, in-store movement behavior, mobile purchase/browsing data, media and entertainment preferences and so on..

So if we’ve got the data and the interest, what’s the problem? 

Only 16 percent of the 350 retailers and brand manufacturers surveyed consider themselves to be “experts” in deriving shopper insights from their data and using it to drive retail decisions.

That’s an expensive knowledge gap. And since nature abhors a vacuum, technology and solution providers are rushing to fill it in different ways.

2014-5-august-shopper-insights-infographic

Defining the Enterprise Data Hub

We’ve been hearing Hadoop provider Cloudera talk about its Enterprise Data Hub strategy for nearly a year now. To many, it has seemed a bit like a “pie in the sky”.

It won’t anymore. Today, there’s proof in the pudding.

Rony Sawdayi, vice president of engineering at Shopzilla told us last night that they have deployed Cloudera’s enterprise data hub to complement their existing Oracle enterprise data warehouse (EDW). Though it will likely be leveraged throughout Shopzilla, it is now being used to help power Connexity, a platform that enables brands and agencies to learn from and connect with shoppers at any buying stage wherever they are.

More specifically, Connexity works much like a super-smart media buying platform that leverages a number of its unique assets which include: Shopzilla’s insight on buyer behavior that has been refined over the last 18 years.