Discover Complex Store Patterns and Trends With Data Visualization

Dec 26, 2016 — Aaron Shauf

Here are some interesting facts about data. Every day, the world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That is 25 with 17 zeroes. 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past 2 years alone.

The numbers we are attaining because of new technology and uses are exponentially unfathomable.

So what are we doing with it?

Data analysis is a huge industry, more and more tools are being created that crunch the numbers to identify trends and cause and effect scenarios and forecasts. Many people are trying to take advantage of the tools, burying themselves in reports, taking out plot points, throwing them onto a graph, correlating them with another graph to try to make sense of it. The goal is to identify what changes can be made to affect what will happen. But maybe data should be looked at from a different angle. An angle where it would resemble a living being.

If you have watched a medical drama in the past 20 years, you are familiar with the term, ‘Code Blue’. In case you have not, it is a common hospital code to indicate a patient has experienced a failure of respiratory or cardiac systems, and is need of immediate aid, usually requiring emergency resuscitation. The code is known in the medical community as ‘failure to rescue’.

There is technological efforts underway to use the data generated by the vital signs of the patient to combat this. By the time they are in the ‘Code Blue’ situation, their vitals have deteriorated and had been deteriorating for a time, and it was noticed when they ‘coded’. Monitoring the data on a real-time basis would identify the deterioration stage – real-time - as opposed to the stage of an emergency. There are many different programs underway to effectively accomplish this in hopes of eliminating Code Blues once and for all.

I digress. This is a retail blog – not a medical blog. I simply enjoy interlacing applications, so bear with me.

Keep your finger on the pulse 

This can be applied to the health of a business, though, any business. There are many managers and employees who check in on the data, whether it be sales, returns, inventory turnover, etc., on a daily basis as part of their routine. But this is plotting points on a graph – equivalent to the daily rounds of a doctor. Data can be crunched to recognize complex patterns over time, requiring more than a daily monitor and calendar like plot points.

A real-time visualization of the data to monitor for a deterioration of vital signs is required to effectively avoid emergency situations, or even to identify warning stages of potentially harmful business trends. One innovator exploring this realm is Ora Systems, who produce the visualization of five dimensions of data sets all into one fluid band of light. iQmetrix is doing some research and development with them, but they also plan to apply their technology to other industries, like gaming and economics. And low and behold, they are applying it to healthcare.

Curious to learn more about data visualization? Stop by our NRF booth to see how our visual data analytics gathers metrics from your POS, Endless Aisle and other in-store and online solutions to paint a clear picture of what’s happening in your retail operations.

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Topics: Wireless Trends

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