MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard has acquired an undisclosed stake  in Mu Sigma, an analytics and decision sciences firm. The two will develop analytics products, combining MasterCard Advisors’ aggregated and anonymous purchase behaviour insights with Mu Sigma’s advanced analytics. These analytics product will be used to enable companies to acquire new customers and also increasing customer loyalty towards any brand. Started by an Indian, Mu Sigma has three-fourth of its man-power working out of India.

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According to its website, Mu Sigma targets pharmaceutical, healthcare, technology, telecom, retail, financial services and insurance firms. From a telecom and media perspective, the company offers the following solutions:


For delivering digital solutions, especially related to market sizing, capacity planning, customer segmentation, performance analytics, spend analysis, demand forecasting, among several other segments, data from Mastercard on spending patterns certainly enhances it.

Interestingly, Comviva (now Mahindra Comviva) had entered into a partnership with MasterCard to launch an open loop mobile money partnership globally providing customers access to essential financial services through their mobile phones. This would include services such as mobile top-ups, bill payments etc. As an extension of the partnership with MasterCard, Comviva entered into a strategic partnership with MasterCard and Tutuka to launch financial inclusion services in Africa. Although mobile subscription base is high in India, financial services through mobile is yet to reach its full potential in the country. Having the world’s second largest subscriber base, India could become a gold mine for big data if MasterCard taps into the financial services data from its Comviva partnership. Exploring this data using Mu Sigma’s analytics could provide great insights to companies and services that are looking to acquire more customers for their financial services over mobile.

India has also been seeing a steady increase in the number of big data analytics companies entering the market here in the last few years. Walmart launched its Walmart Lab in November 2011 in India to focus on big data generated through mobile and social media. Yahoo has opened its lab for big data inside the IIT Madras campus.