MasterCard Advisors today announced that it has taken an ownership stake in the data analytics and decisioning firm, Mu Sigma. Known for large scale, high volume -or big data – analysis, Mu Sigma is one of the emerging breed of decision support service providers combining the disciplines of applied mathematics, business knowledge and data processing technologies to develop insights for its clients.

In combination with MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, a macroeconomic information service that uses data from the MasterCard network and other sources to provide national retail sales and sector analysis, MasterCard is extending both its assets and potential scope in the big data market. An obvious benefit of the alliance is the breadth of data sources and analytic tools that MasterCard and Mu Sigma can combine for deepened analytic purposes.

Mu Sigma focuses on Marketing, Supply Chain, and Risk analytics across a variety of industry verticals including the financial services market. But the application to financial services will both augment and be augmented by the analysis that MasterCard’s data can currently support.

The business application of each firm’s capabilities will also be deepened as new dimensions are added to MasterCard and Mu Sigma’s analytic components and methodologies. Mu Sigma currently utilizes open source programming frameworks such as Apache Hadoop and is receptive to open source development. This could further MasterCard’s recent open platform approach, providing new avenues for program developers to build analytic tools and access – a truly BIG approach to data analysis.