What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits: Gathering and using data

By CONSTANCE L. HAYS



Published: November 14, 2004



HURRICANE FRANCES was on its way, barreling across the Caribbean, threatening a direct hit on Florida's Atlantic coast. Residents made for higher ground, but far away, in Bentonville, Ark., executives at Wal-Mart Stores decided that the situation offered a great opportunity for one of their newest data-driven weapons, something that the company calls predictive technology.



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