Retail's Social Data Revolution

There is a social data revolution going on in the retail, but it is only valuable if the data is properly leveraged and has an impact on corporate decision making. Think for instance, about how Amazon has changed the way people think about identity, how Google has changed the way people think about information, and how Facebook has changed the way people think about identity. These companies have revolutionized modern society thanks in no small part to their ability to properly exploit the reams of end user data they collect on an around the clock basis.
There is a balance of power between the customer and the retailer, but that balance of power is shifting. With data disrupting every aspect of the world we live in, it is imperative to know how to put this data to action. During an opening keynote session at the 2015 Retail & Consumer Goods Analytics Summit, Dr. Andreas Weigand, Former Chief Scientist for Amazon, and Founder and Director of the Social Data Lab, explained how advanced analytics can dig into company data to derive a proxy equation of corporate health (fitness function).
"Data is the new oil, and just like oil you need to refine it," Weigand said as he opened his talk. A million gallons of crude oil just like an overflowing data stream is virtually useless until it is processed and developed into something infinitely more valuable.

"Start with a decision you need to make, not with the data you have," explained Weigand. In other words, have a decision focus and not a data focus. By creating data-based experiments, companies can determine the critical impact of proposed business decisions. 
Companies use words like insights, knowledge, wisdom, and even wonder to describe big data, which are all accurate, but action is key when it comes to leveraging data for generating revenue in the marketplace. 
"Data of the people, by the people and for the people," closed Weigand.