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Microsoft Azure Machine Learning: Pier 1 Digs In
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KristiMKE
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KristiMKE,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/16/2014 | 8:14:44 AM
In-store analytics
For advanced analytics on in-store consumer behavior, Pier 1 should consider Scanalytics. Through intelligent floor sensors, Scanalytics anonymously captures behavioral data on foot traffic and customer engagement to discover new trends and marketing opportunities. http://www.scanalyticsinc.com/
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 6:59:25 PM
Pier 1 moves ahead of its peers
This is a ckassic early use case for cloud, big data analysis with a burst of aggregated compute power, rather than a drawn out data warehouse processing job. Pier 1 is going to  move ahead of its peers.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 3:30:15 PM
Re: wow - Don't be afraid your lamp purchase will be revealed
I think you're being a little paranoid. The data isn't being sold to anybody. Pier 1 is the only one using it. Their site runs in the cloud on Demandware. For the pilot, sample clickstream (search and browze) data along with e-commerce data was uploaded to Azure HD Insight along with Pier 1 POS data. Once the analysis was done using Azure ML, visualizations and reports were created in Microsoft Power BI (part of Office 365) and result sets (like customer-segmentation data) could be brought back to Pier 1. All this data-movement is secure, according to Pier 1.
dty
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dty,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/14/2014 | 3:02:59 PM
wow
This is scary to think about the data points harvested from their analytics just visiting a website. Maybe should have a big caution sign popup notice before you actually get screened and logged and data sold. Can you post a list of sites that use their technology?
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 1:36:46 PM
Thoughts on Azure ML from Gartner
I emailed Gartner to get their perspective on Azure ML in comparison with the likes of SAS and IBM SPSS -- the two leading advanced analytics vendors -- and here's what analyst Alex Linden had to say:

Azure ML is absolutely excelling at ease-of-use and distributing advanced analytics across the enterprise. Customers requiring the depth and breadth of SAS or IBM SPSS will not be considering [Azure ML as a] replacement. But most customers of SAS and SPSS actually don't require all that breadth. And many customers considering SAP or Oracle can now more seriously look at Microsoft.



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