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Business Intelligence: The Granddaddy of Big Data

By Hank Salvacion, Analytics Group
Tuesday, August, 18 2015

"Business Intelligence" was first coined as a term first coined in 1865 by Richard Millar Devens.

These days we know it as a set of techniques and processes that transform raw data into information which can be used to steer business and furthering one's goals.

As a kid growing up I used to visit a corner soda shop, Carty's Sugar Bowl, old man Carty knew all his regulars by name and what they wanted because his prodigious memory allowed him to recall who bought what when and in what quantities. He knew when you were coming in to buy 1 cent Bubble Gum or 25 cent sparklers, in the end he could take information from dozens of sources and calculate when, what, and how much of his purchases, so he could have what you wanted when you were of the mind to purchase it.

Retailers are trying to do exactly the same thing. Whether it was tracking your purchases and tagging them to your email, or now phone. They were creating a entity in their Data warehouse with your information and purchasing practices. Based on data analysis they could reasonable predict what you wanted and when you were going to purchase. 

In Today's age technology, in the guise of a smart phone, takes this practice to more precise and some say invasive level. Combining Wireless proximity technology with database access and filed purchasing history, some stores will shape your customer experience to one that is highly personal and highly knowledgeable about you.

In the name of convenience and sweet deals we give permission to retailers to track us and pitch to us the things that we've told them either directly or through analysis our consumer habits. It's not going to stop there either. As NFC technology gets ever more pervasive we'll get customized alerts to who has what we want in the colors that we've looked at them in. All just by having a mobile phone account and access to the internet.

Retailers (especially the Big ones) know us intimately because we told them, and have been telling them for ages.

As the Data Analytics get more diverse and complex, and our practice of using those analytics to make decisions gets more accustom, becoming habitual, business intelligence driven by process and technology will become as pervasive as customized commercials and proximity alerts.

Our personal technology array becomes more personal, wearable, and indispensable the way we access what we get will be ever more attuned to our lives for better or for worse.