"Big data" has been all the rage in the payments industry in recent years. While the hype seems to have subsided a bit, that might be because the most dedicated data-using merchants have put their heads down to focus on sifting through the data to investigate fraud.

"If you want to get ahead of the bad guys you got to spend time in the lab," said Skip Myers, director of loss prevention at Micro Center, a computer and electronics retailer with both brick-and-mortar stores and an e-commerce shop.

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