Wal-Mart restocks data warehouse

US retailer Wal-Mart is upgrading and expanding its data warehouse environment in a move that should also lead to a 40 per cent reduction in energy consumption.

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As part of a refresh programme of its technology, the new system will require half the floor space of its existing data warehouse.

“Consistent with our sustainability initiatives, this expansion will result in a significant reduction in our data centre power and cooling footprint,” says Jose Hernandez, Wal-Mart’s chief technology officer and senior vice president of infrastructure.

The new implementation extends the partnership between the retailer and data warehousing solutions provider Teradata. This generated probably the most famous customer insight in retailing history – male shoppers who bought beer and nappies at the same time.

Analysis showed that these were men sent out to get emergency baby supplies who rewarded themselves with a six-pack. Wal-Mart reacted by placing these products together at the front of the store.

Data-driven analytics, supported by professional services, form part of the new project which is intended to strengthen Wal-Mart’s competitive advantage. “As this partnership is expanded, we will be able to leverage scalability, processing power, and storage capacity, along with software enhancements,” says Hernandez.

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