itwbennett writes "Walmart's Labs division is setting up a 'big and fast data group' to explore ways to take advantage of the huge amounts of information it has about shopping behavior and combine it with social-networking data, said Venky Harinarayan, Walmart's senior vice president of global e-commerce and head of Walmart Labs. For example, finding out when people in Wisconsin start mentioning college football in status updates could help the company decide when to start putting team merchandise on shelves in that state, he said. 'This actually has been playing really, really well over the last few weeks as we've started engaging some of this,' he said. Mining social-networking data 'can impact billions of dollars of merchandise if we get it right,' he added."
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