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Big Data from Small Transactions

big data brainCash register transactions are flowing at an ever increasing rate. Actually ‘cash register’ isn’t at all an appropriate term anymore since such a large volume of purchasing take place as credit or debit transactions. But the point is still the same. The challenge of managing those transactions is part of the reason there is so much attention on Big Data. And the obstacles of handling big data are becoming as well known as are the companies that are providing solutions.

From the perspective of the retailer those transactions translate literally to money in the bank. They represent the revenue, the customers, and the profit on their sales. For retailers, these transactions are part of the accounting and internal ERP systems they use to manage their entire business. And because of all those purposes, retailers have a good handle on that huge volume of transactions. No doubt that this really is big data, but it is structured and managed in a very intentional way, and the retailer’s business depends on having the data available and valid.

The same is not true for the retailer’s suppliers however. They get their sales transactions from their invoices to their retailer customers. While the volumes of items they sell can be substantial, the volume of transactions supporting those sales are orders of magnitude smaller than the transactions their retailers produce, and they are significantly less complex because they deal with a limited set of items.

What the suppliers are missing is a deep understanding of how their products are selling; what store locations, what days of the week, quantities per sale, and a host of other information that can help them not only plan their production better but advise their retailer customers on product mixes and timings. The analysis of this kind of data is far beyond the reach of traditional spreadsheets even if the data is available directly from the retailer.

What is needed is an intermediary data repository that can aggregate the point of sale data from one or several of the supplier’s retail customers and present the analysis in easy to understand dashboards and reports. These systems exist as part of offerings from EDI service providers and from independent systems providers that have the facilities to collect and present the data to their customers. Check Techdinamics for their offerings that offer varying levels of services depending on volumes and needs.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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