Eager to ply consumer data analytics as a carrot for issuers, MasterCard Advisors on Thursday announced a development partnership with data analytics company Mu Sigma, in which MasterCard purchased an equity stake.

The partnership will combine MasterCard Advisors' aggregated and anonymous purchase behavior tracking with Mu Sigma's analytics engine. Mu Sigma offers a mix of supply chain, marketing and risk analytics covering subjects such as segmentation, loyalty modeling and brand analysis.

The two companies will jointly develop marketing and customer acquisition initiatives. They did not disclose further terms, such as the amount of the equity stake or how much MasterCard paid. 

Companies are increasingly using what's called big data for advanced analysis of wider data sources. That includes more granular analysis of traditional structured data, such as transaction and customers records, as well as nontraditional external unstructured data sources like social network relationships and activity.

"The data analysis market is rapidly growing as customers seek real-time insight, allowing them to better connect with their customers through highly relevant products, offers and services," Gary Kearns, executive vice president of information services for MasterCard Advisors, said in a press release.

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