Big Data – if you haven’t already heard – is the latest and greatest development to hit fashion since Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
Let’s break it down.
According to my good friend, Wikipedia, “Big Data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, analysis, and visualization.”
We’ve seen how the Internet and social media are changing the way we communicate, how fast we can transmit information, and how quickly we can receive it. Runway shows are broadcast around the world now in real time via the Web; fashion thought leaders are tweeting their two cents seconds after Karl Lagerfeld sends his models down the runway. The amount of information being shared is seismic. But how to make sense of it?
From a market standpoint, having access to this kind of real time information is unprecedented. Capturing the public response to Bottega Veneta’s 2013 resort collection in a beautifully coded graph is called hitting the proverbial jackpot.
Editd – possibly the UK’s coolest fashion startup – is at the forefront of Big Data collection. Visit their website here. Founded in 2009 by Geoff Watts and Julia Fowler, Editd offers retailers concrete data to help them price products, know when to discount, understand what’s selling, and interpret what consumers are saying.
In trend forecasting, timing is everything. Even if you’ve identified a trend correctly, if you predict its arrival 6 months too early, you’ve missed the mark. With the help of Big Data and savvy algorithms, our predictions become more accurate and thus, more credible.
There was an AWESOME conference in November in London called, Decoded Fashion. The first of its kind, this event was created to encourage creative partnerships at the intersection between Fashion and Technology. The event has come and gone, but check out their website for featured moments, style pics, and data news.