In a blog entry on 12/26, I stated I would present a use case for the combination of CEP & Big Data.  Happily, the state of Massachusetts has provided an outstanding opportunity.

On the 1st of January, 2013, retail stores will no longer be required to display tagged pricing.  Consumers will be able to utilize scanners to read a bar code to determine the price of that item.

This allows the opportunity for item pricing to dynamically reflect current and future inventory levels, actual sales performance compared to plan which includes both promotional and non-promotional performance, actual compared to expected supply chain costs, the expected time of product replenishment and the current sales trend of that SKU.

This is a perfect example that requires the leveraging of Big Data and CEP as their are an almost infinite amount of variables that can affect a dynamic price.  All of the items listed above can be monitored by a CEP tool to understand how each is performing and business rules can be created to have the price automatically updated based on the ever changing factors.  However, by adding data on external events such as the amount of traffic in the vicinity of the retail location, the amount of sales for complimentary items, the regional capacity availability for transportation, regional current weather and forecasts and the marketing promotion efforts of competitors, an enterprise has the ability to have a much greater holistic understanding of the environment around their product and its impact on the end consumer.  Most importantly, the enterprise can manage demand in real time to ensure that the pricing extended to a consumer reflects all of the factors that determine the end price.

This is simply too much for an organization to effectively manage without the proper technology but with the correct technology, the combination of CEP and Big Data, the outcomes may be extraordinary.

At least for the organization and the retailer, the extreme couponers might not be so elated as their costs increase as supply dwindles.