Mirad este artículo en el New York Times (necesita registro, pero es gratis) sobre cómo Wall-Mart, el «Carrefour» yankee por excelencia, maneja cuestiones de inventario. Es como si pusieran al botiguer catalán más tacaño que pudieran encontrar, pero elevado a la máxima potencia. Una aunténtica maravilla. Una pequeña muestra…..

(…)With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100 million customers walking through the doors each week, Wal-Mart has access to information about a broad slice of America – from individual Social Security and driver’s license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lipsticks, or jugs of antifreeze. The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle, then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.

By its own count, Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville headquarters. To put that in perspective, the Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts.

Information about products, and often about customers, is most often obtained at checkout scanners. Wireless hand-held units, operated by clerks and managers, gather more inventory data. In most
cases, such detail is stored for indefinite lengths of time. Sometimes it is divided into categories or mapped across computer models, and it is increasingly being used to answer discount retailing’s rabbinical questions, like how many cashiers are needed during certain hours at a particular store. (…)

Leerlo entero. Es muy interesante.