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Forbes has a piece about its recent CIO Summit in which it looks at "the next generation of data collection."

Target CIO Mike McNamara put it this way: “You have to overlay bits and bytes with experience. There’s a ton you can tell about customers from data, but what doesn’t flow through the bits and bytes is intent or emotion, how the customer really feels about the brand. The best thing about big data is we can look at more than just transactions."

"It’s everything getting connected,” said Roger Gurnani, Verizon’s Executive Vice President & Chief Information and Technology Architect. “Now even a lot of industries that deal with physical goods are picking up on this new way. The data analytics space used to be about gathering tons of data then a human analyzing what happened and predict what might happen next. But we’re now moving into where entire value chain is programmable, software driven. With deep learning and algorithms, stuff is getting automated, happening instantaneously.”
KC's View:
The way Gurnani describes the use of data sounds suspiciously like what Amazon has been doing for years ... which somehow isn't surprising.

The thing is, collecting data is one thing ... but the important thing is understanding it and applying it in a way that allows the business to tell a compelling story to shoppers.