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MasterCard, IBM make Big Data available to small retailers

IBM and MasterCard have partnered to offer smaller retailers real-time, analytics-based market insights on revenue, market share, customer demographics and competitors.

The solution integrates IBM Watson Analytics with insights based on aggregated and anonymous MasterCard transaction data through MasterCard Advisors Local Market Intelligence (LMI).

The data will be available to retailers who accept MasterCard – on subscription – from mid-2016 for specific locations or across multiple locations for those with store networks.

Eric Schneider, senior VP with MasterCard Advisors, says there is an increasing wealth of data today that merchants can leverage to better understand their market and customers.

“However, smaller merchants often don’t have the resources to maximise the insights. That’s the value of this platform turning Big Data into smarter data that is easily accessible and actionable.”

Yashesh Kampani, financial services sector leader with IBM ASEAN, says the service will help smaller merchants understand their business and competition better, and increase the strength and value of their customer relationships.

“Through this new service, merchants will discover just how easy leveraging Big Data can actually be with the analytical tools that IBM and MasterCard are making available.”

IBM says the Watson Analytics data discovery tool is designed to deliver cloud-based guided analytics, data visualisation and predictive analytics “without complexity”.

With its natural “language-based cognitive abilities”, Watson Analytics recommends starting points for the user to follow based on his questions and automatically serves up insights and visualisations that enable the user to discover new patterns in their data such as customer buying and behaviour trends and untapped campaign opportunities.

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