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How To Gain Value From Big Data

Big data expert and television personality Deborah Berebichez discusses specific use cases through which data analytics can provide ROI.

Most business executives will tell you: Before investing in new technology, they want to be able to see the value they get from that investment.

Deborah Berebichez, a data scientist and Science Channel personality, promises that big data solutions, while relatively new, can already provide a return on investment.

Berebichez recently worked with retail companies to harness geofencing technology built by Google and General Electric to collect data on shoppers once they enter a retail space.

Geofencing "is just using GPS to determine an area where somebody's sort of 'fenced' virtually in. So they can determine pretty accurately what areas people are walking around," she said.

The technology essentially turns any retail space into a smart, connected ecosystem.

"It knows who I am, it knows what kind of items I'm looking at, and it knows when I'm going to be most prompted, most ready for a sale," she said.

"Another example I really like of what good data science can do is calculate popularity. What do customers love?" Berebichez said.

Part of the project involved implementing computing software with facial recognition capabilities within dressing room mirrors.

"It only required you to make a grim face for them to know that size was not appropriate, you didn't like the color," said Berebichez. The mirror would then prompt a salesperson that the customer was dissatisfied.

Although these use cases were specifically in the retail sector, Berebichez said, she sees potential for these technologies to elevate other verticals like health care and transportation.

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