Stitch Fix: A Data Nerd’s Dream

Stitch Fix: A Data Nerd’s Dream

http://multithreaded.stitchfix.com/algorithms/

This Christmas, Lynsey Santa hooked me up with a Stitch Fix subscription. I am terrible (he means impatient -Lynsey) at buying clothes for myself, so I find this service quite helpful. Initially, I was getting a box every other month, but later switched to once a quarter (another super convenient piece of this business model). So far they have got my style spot on.

Trends and convenience aside, I’m eager to talk about Stitch Fix as an aspiring data scientist because this company is doing some cutting edge work. When you think about it, a style coaching service at the scale of Stitch Fix is a data problem. On the surface, you might assume they simply hire a lot of personal shoppers but that would probably be cost prohibitive for a company. A recent blog post on the Stitch Fix blog shows how it all works. inventory-cycle

To lay it out here, they collects a bunch (that’s a technical term) of data on their costumers at the time of entry. They asks you about your size, your style, how you get to work, and a handful of other questions. Once they have this information they are able to run you through an algorithm that matches you with people who have similar likes/dislikes as you. They use this to recommend items and ship them to you…shipping is an optimization problem of its own.  With each box of clothes (based on your returns/keeps), Stitch Fix collects more information on you thus improving the ability to style you. I’m way oversimplifying their algorithm/business model, but you get the idea. Stitch Fix found a way to use data to improve your shopping experience and their customer service…and overall success. You look good. They sustain. It’s a win-win.

I also love their blog, where they share tons of data science and analytics information. They go so far as to share code to help people like me level up my nerd status learn.

I highly recommend Stitch Fix. They are helping me look more together, while maintaining my geek-chic style. Not to mention (I already did) their awesome data science innovation status. Click here to give them a try.

 

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