Predictive Analytics is on Trend with Next Generation of Fashion Merchandisers

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First Insight partners with Fashion Institute of Technology to arm graduates with predictive analytic technology skills for real-word merchandising challenges.

Read more about our partnership with FIT

PITTSBURGH, PA, December 12, 2014 -- First Insight, Inc., the world’s leading provider of technology solutionsthat empower retailers and manufacturers to introduce the right new products at the right price, today announced a partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a college of the State University of New York and an internationally recognized school that prepares students for professional excellence in design and business. Through the partnership, First Insight is providing FIT with access to its consumer-driven predictive analytics platform to incorporate into the student curriculum.  

Included as part of the curriculum in three courses in FIT’s Fashion Merchandising Management program in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business, First Insight brings the latest retail technology to the next generation of retail professionals. Students learn which data to gather and how to apply analytics to make smarter decisions about product design, selection, and price. They leave the classroom with hands-on, practical experience in the use of First Insight’s platform, along with enhanced knowledge of how data and predictive analytics can be used to launch new, successful products and increase gross profit margins.

Gartner predicts that by 2016, 70 percent of high-performing companies will manage their business process using real-time predictive analytics. “From ecommerce platforms to tech-embedded clothes, retail and technology are more closely entwined than ever. The fashion industry has become a technology-first market, and retailers need to have a data-driven business model,” said Jim Shea, Chief Marketing Officer at First Insight. “Understanding where to find the right data and use it in the right way is not only a strategic advantage, it’s a business imperative.”

First Insight recently sponsored a team of four students from FIT’s Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology who competed in – and won – the Future Retail Challenge at the annual World Retail Congress, held in Paris in late September. The FIT team bested student teams from London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Marche, Italy. Challenged to create a new retail concept for the Samsung Life Store, the FIT team used data-backed insights to develop and present an extensive proposal for their original concept, “The Smart Apartment.”

“FIT is delighted to be working with First Insight,” said Robin Sackin, Chair of the Fashion Merchandising Management (FMM) program at FIT.  “Our students are the retail merchants, designers, and planners of tomorrow. Fashion is certainly about art, but it cannot exist today without technology. Our students embrace technology and understand that predictive analytics can give those in the fashion industry an edge. We look forward to working with First Insight to graduate top students who can enter the workforce with real-world experience.”

“FIT students are smart, inquisitive and are looking to differentiate themselves in a competitive industry,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight and a member of the industry advisory council for FIT’s FMM program.  “We are excited to have the opportunity to help students think strategically about retail decision-making, and take a data-first approach to merchandising and management.”

About First Insight, Inc.

First Insight is the world’s leading solution provider empowering companies to drive new product success by introducing the right products at the right price. Through the use of online consumer engagement, the First Insight solution gathers real-time consumer data and applies predictive analytic models to create actionable insights, which drive measurable value.  Retailers, manufacturers and brands use the First Insight solution to design, select, price and market the most profitable new products for improved sales, margins and inventory turnover.  Customers include some of world’s leading department stores, brands, and specialty and vertically integrated retailers. For further information, please visit

About the Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology, a part of the State University of New York, has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology for 70 years. With a curriculum that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, and offers nearly 50 majors in fields ranging from marketing and textiles to toy design and entrepreneurship, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the global marketplace.

FIT’s special brand of education reflects the college’s close ties to industry. Top executives serve as curriculum advisors, faculty, and mentors to students; industry members and leading companies provide scholarships, internships, and support for critical FIT initiatives. Relationships with industry enable the college to offer students experiences that mirror the marketplace and give them a competitive edge.


Media Contact:

Michael McMullan
Berns Communications
(212) 994-4660

Jim Shea
First Insight
Chief Marketing Officer

Gartner  World Retail Congress,  FIT  Fashion Institute of Technology