With so much data available to retailers they are starting to be able to anticipate our every whim, and also spot the thieves masquerading as customers. What is making the difference is not data, nor aggregating the data into information, but turning that information into insights.

The high powered analytics and business intelligence software made available over the last 5 years has enabled data as transactions to be transformed into information.

But only now are events are allowing businesses to transform information into insights.

This is about identifying specific events and interpreting the implications and corresponding actions, and then looking out for those events. This is not randomly scanning transactions and trying to interpret what is happening. The volumes of data being generated “BigData” mean that this would be an impossible task.

An example

It has been identified that if a guy is in a store and is buying champagne, razor blades and nappies / diapers it is likely that the credit card he is using is stolen. Why?

If you are using a stolen credit card, I am reliably informed, you need to maximise the value of the items you purchase at the same time as minimising the chance of being challenged.

Champagne and razor blades are the most valuable items in the store. And the nappies means that he will appear a caring Dad.

Now, with event software ‘watching’ the transactions at checkout we can reduce fraud. – unless of course you are on the way home to celebrate the birth of your child and in need of a shave.

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