A careful analysis of Wal-Mart's early days shows that collaboration and data sharing with suppliers paved the way for growth and greater efficiency in marketing and demand forecasting. In addition, distributing sales data among all of Wal-Mart's suppliers promoted healthy competition and innovation. Over the next 10 years, according to this article, the retail industry can expect to see significant trends related to data sharing, such as data harmonization, democratization, condensation, learning and innovation.

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