MasterCard, Mu Sigma ink deal; big data, analytics

The financial services giant invest in, and partners with, the analytics stalwart to develop and sell big data products for joint clients.

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The professional services arm of financial services giant MasterCard will invest in and partner with Chicago-based analytics firm Mu Sigma to develop and sell big data products.

The terms of MasterCard's equity investment in Mu Sigma were not disclosed.

The companies' plan is to take on the $5 billion big data analytics market, espected to grow to $50 billion by 2017, by combining MasterCard's extensive purchase behavior insights with Mu Sigma's analytics and expertise in a jointly developed family of products.

The value proposition: together, they can help companies of all sizes better acquire customers and increase their loyalty.

The deal certainly makes sense on paper. MasterCard Advisors has been toying with big data and analytics for a decade, and has a massive base of merchants, financial institutions, advertisers and even governments to tap. Mu Sigma has some 2,500 "decision science" professionals working on analytics problems for pharmaceutical, healthcare, financial services, insurance, consumer goods and retail companies. (The company's slogan: "Do the math.")

Swapping notes and working together, then, seems like an easy win.

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