Data analytics can help companies achieve major business outcomes. List four areas where IT can make major differences and explain how and why. Give examples.

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IT can be very important for businesses. IT can target advertising to a consumer based on their previous buying preferences. For example, if one buys books from a certain author, one could get an email stating when that author has released a new book.

IT can also use customer data in order to give targeted discounts. Businesses have often used coupons to get people to shop, but in the past these coupons were mailed out in a "one-size-fits-all" mass and many of them were thrown away. With shopper cards monitoring data, people now receive coupons that they are more likely to use. For example, if one buys energy drinks regularly one may receive coupons for them in the mail or at checkout for their next purchase.

IT can also help stores manage inventory. Stores use a computer to understand which items are bought and which are still on the shelf. Rather than manually order every item, a computer will order. One program that does this is called Computer Assisted Ordering (CAO). Computers can also forecast sales based on sales in the past year of a certain product at a certain time.

IT can also help stores with scheduling purposes. For example, a computer can track customers in the store and realize that a store needs a certain number of cashiers and other employees for peak times in order to maximize profits. Of course, the computer might not always get it right and a store can still be understaffed. Ideally, by using a computer to monitor sales and customers within the store one can best maximize their workforce.

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