Competitive edge: making the most of big data

Data analytics startups are bringing previously unattainable insights to markets, and their customers will reap the benefits

Every day, a small army of vegetable spotters equipped with mobile phones fans out through the markets of Mumbai and other Indian cities, snapping photos of onions and sundry food items.

Welcome to the era of advanced data correlation.

The spotters are part-time employees of California-based startup Premise, which uses data-intensive, on-the-ground surveys of key indicators to pick up inflationary trends, often uncovering them long before government sources.