When you go shopping, do you go directly to the item you’re looking for, pay, and leave? Do you linger around some areas longer than others? Is there a department that you always go to first?

Imagine you were looking down on all of the shoppers who came in and out of a department store over the course of a day. You would probably notice some familiar patterns—the flow of people throughout the space would reveal that some areas are more interesting than others, some products more enticing, and some displays more effective.

By studying the behavioral patterns of customers, you can gather a lot of useful information, and make better predictions about what they’ll do in the future. It’s a very simple premise, yet it reveals a lot about how a space can influence the actions of the people in it.

This, of course, is not a new concept. Businesses have long been using how their customers interact with their products to better market to them in the future. Too often, however, these decisions are made based on intuition rather than analysis.

Intuition isn’t enough. By examining data instead of relying on observation and intuition, managers can make smarter, well-informed decisions. This diminishes the risk involved in choice, and eliminates the need for a never-ending cycle of trial and error.

That's something all businesses want. 

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