Not everyone has heard or read this story so I thought I would share it here. Target was able to determine that a young lady was pregnant before her family was aware. A link to the complete story is here.
The interesting part from a BI perspective is how Target was able to determine that she was pregnant. By mining existing customer data and merging it with baby registry information, the company was able to determine patterns in what women who are pregnant purchase. The reviewed purchase patterns on unscented lotions and soaps, cotton balls, and hand sanitizers.
Target was able to take their raw inventory data and leverage it for information. I’m sure most companies are running inventory and turnover analysis reports. However, Target was able to take their data to the next level by merging it with other data sets to spot trends in known customers purchases to predict purchases other customer may make. This is one example of the power of Business Intelligence. It’s not about creating dashboards or using the latest buzz words. It is about turning your existing data stores into information to help your business achieve its goals.