It was my niece Kajsa’s birthday in October. It was so crazy at work that I almost completely forgot to get her a gift. Please don’t tell her!!! My biggest problem, outside of forgetting, is the struggle to find a gift for an 8-year-old when you live in two separate states and you want to get get her something unique and that you really hope she will like. holiday shopping

Shopping can be difficult and not many people like to do it, especially when you need to get something for someone else. What worried me more… there were two more months until holiday shopping occurred. Now I need to buy for her brother Tennison and Kajsa AGAIN. What is the appropriate age to start giving gift cards? Well until that age, I need a fall back plan which is of course online shopping. If I didn’t have time to remember her birthday, I certainly don’t have time to drive to the mall. We all have our favorite sites and personally my favorites include reviews and most importantly… recommendations.

So how does my problem help you and your business? If your business is not applying any data analytics to your inventory and your sales, you are not being competitive. There are different types of data analytics that you can using within your business but the most impactful are predictive and prescriptive analytics.

predictive analytics

Predictive analytics helps you understand what will happen. By looking into the past and how people reacted in certain conditions, can help you predict what will happen in the future. For instance, if I buy a home gaming system then more than likely other accessories will go with it and be recommended. Does your business have the ability to “upsell”? Does your business understand the correlation of the buyers to what they have bought over time? Buyers like me are looking for the recommendation, they are looking for ways to easily find out what else is out there. Your business more than likely has all of this past data. You might be using it your inventory tracking or just your quarterly sales. Now with predictive analytics, you have the ability to sell even more products or services.

Prescriptive analytics takes predictive analytics one step further and takes your business even closer into the big data analytics realm. Taking multiple points of information not only from purchases on your site but other sites as well as credit card purchases, and the attributes of the buyer, can help your business find the right options for your customers as well as drive newer products to them. Prescriptive analytics identifies the best course of action that an individual should take.  It is almost like you do the thinking for me because your business inputs all the points that is necessary to make the right decision. For example, maybe there is a trend going in that state and therefore I want to choose a gift that is something she truly will want.

Mother and son with pad during car travel at nightUnderstanding the data and applying it in such a way that it helps drives sales is not a new concept. Often times when we work with someone face to face they make recommendations on what others liked or paired with something. Now businesses have the opportunity to pull from many sources and therefore give you a richer insight. Not just the ability to know what we will more than likely buy but an understanding of what we should buy based on the information accumulated from people like me. Pulling information from other people buying an 8-year-old a gift will more than likely make sure that I buy the perfect gift. Isn’t that all what we want anyway… to be the perfect Aunt and Uncle that knows just what the kids want. Happy Holidays and happy online shopping this season. Just make sure you shop at a site that does data analytics.

 

Erin K. Banks

Portfolio Marketing Director at Dell EMC
Erin K. Banks has been in the IT industry for almost 20 years. She is the Portfolio Marketing Director for Big Data and Data Analytics at Dell EMC. Previously she worked at Juniper Networks in Technical Marketing for the Security Business Unit. She has also worked at VMware and EMC as an SE in the Federal Division, focused on Virtualization and Security. She holds both CISSP and CISA accreditations. Erin has a BS in Electrical Engineering and is an author, blogger, and avid runner. You can find her on social media at @banksek

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