Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Paula Post

Group VP of Merhcnadise Optimization, BonTon Stores, Inc.

Paula Post, group VP of merchandise optimization at BonTon Stores, Inc., indicates that with big data she is delivering to her workforce “true information so they can spend their time making decisions and doing things to drive the business.” Paula is this week’s IBM Big Data and Analytics Hero.

How have big data and analytics impacted how you do your job today?

Before we implemented big data analytics, my buyers and planners spent a lot of time pulling bunches of data, putting it in a big spreadsheet and trying to glean information from that. They now have a page where they can go in to see top sellers for the week and they can change the time frame for the entire season. So what we have been able to start down the path of is giving them true information, so they can spend their time making decisions and doing things to drive the business.

How are big data and analytics changing your business strategy?

We want to be the premiere omni channel for the markets that we serve. Customers now expect to be in our store, look at product reviews on their smartphone and be able to price shop right there. I need some way to understand what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling without having direct contact with them. PureData for Analytics is what’s going to help us understand what the customers want when they walk into my stores.

What "gold nuggets" have you uncovered using big data and analytics?

The biggest payback that we’re looking at right now, or kind of the next step, is advertising differently and promoting different products; if they are walking in, seeing the product they want, at the price they want, and the store feels like their store, that’s where you want to go. 

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