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Home Depot points to next frontier of data

San Diego -- Home Depot's director of enterprise data warehouse pointed to big improvements in data integrity at the world's largest home improvement retailer during the Teradata user conference in San Diego.

A12-year veteran of the company, Cynthia Czabala talked about some of the retailer’s failed attempts at standardizing item data before it ultimately succeeded. “We now have 99% of stock product attributes” for both HomeDepot.com and also the retailer’s physical stores, Czabala said. “We can now audit these attributes and hold [the vendors] accountable to the true facts of that data,” she said.

Home Depot is now attempting to perform the same kind of data cleansing for its customer database. One major accomplishment so far: integrating customer accounts into its data warehouse from all the different ways of collecting customer data: point of sale transactions, rentals, special orders, credit card applications and so on.

“For the first time, I can tell you how valuable you are to me based on how much business we’ve done,” Czabala said. Capturing — and understanding — customer sales transaction data is “the next frontier,” she said.

By analyzing these interactions, Home Depot can better target its marketing outreach and learn more about the needs of customer segments like pros, HD Direct and installed services. Just as the IT team must learn to work closely with merchandising and logistics, so it goes with marketing, which is moving away from mass advertising and its imprecise ROI.

“We want to increase marketing to smaller groups,” Czabala said.

The Teradata Partners user group conference took place in late October.

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