How might Target use data analytics to help make decisions?

Photo of inside a Target store with snow shovels next to swimming suits

Snow shovels for sale next to swimming suits

In a recent visit in early February to a Target (NYSE: TGT) store in northeast Ohio, snow shovels were on display next to swimming suits, offering an interesting juxtaposition. [The average temperature in northeast Ohio in February is about 31° Fahrenheit, accompanied by an average monthly snowfall of about 15.”]

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted how the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City recently began offering a course entitled “Predictive Analytics for Planning and Forecasting: Case Studies with Weatherization.”  The course involves how companies might use big data related to weather to help to make predictions for decisions about when to stock certain types of clothing.

Questions

  1. Think about Target or another discount store retailer. How might it make use of big data related to weather? Explain.
  2. What other types of big data might be useful to Target or other discount store retailers? Explain.

Instructor Resources

These resources are provided to give the instructor flexibility for use of Accounting in the Headlines articles in the classroom. The blog posting itself can be assigned via a link to this site OR by distributing the student handout below. Alternatively, the PowerPoint file below contains a bullet point overview of the article and the discussion questions.

  • Student handout (pdf) (word) (contains entire blog posting + discussion questions)
  • PowerPoint file (brief article overview + discussion questions)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Prentice-Hall.

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