MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard (NYSE:MA), and Mu Sigma, one of the world’s largest decision sciences and analytics firms, announced today a new partnership that combines MasterCard Advisors’ aggregated and anonymous purchase behavior insights with Mu Sigma’s advanced analytics and expertise. MasterCard Advisors and Mu Sigma will jointly develop innovative analytic products to enable companies of all sizes to successfully solve their business challenges – like acquiring customers and increasing customer loyalty. As part of the strategic partnership MasterCard has acquired an equity stake in Mu Sigma. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to research by Wikibon, the Big Data analytics market stood at just over $5 billion in early 2012, and is expected to grow at a rapid clip of 58 percent CAGR between now and 2017 – resulting in a $50 billion market opportunity within five years. Yet, analysts predict there will soon be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. MasterCard Advisors has been a global leader in big data technology, analytics and expertise for over 10 years. The company provides one of the largest sources of aggregated and anonymous transactions, and is uniquely positioned to deliver business intelligence and predictive analytics to a multitude of industry verticals including – Merchants, Financial Institutions, Advertisers, Manufacturers and Governments. Mu Sigma has uniquely scaled the holistic man-machine ecosystem essential to leverage big data. Over 2500 highly talented decision science professionals deploy advanced analytics and techniques coupled with deep domain expertise to solve complex business problems for pharmaceutical and healthcare, financial services, insurance, consumer packaged goods, and retail customers. Mu Sigma drives disruptive innovation in analytics with its interdisciplinary approach combining business, math and technology and using proprietary products, assets, methodologies and people. “The data analytics market is rapidly growing as customers seek real time insight allowing them to better connect with their consumers through highly relevant products, offers and services,” said Gary Kearns, Executive Vice President, Information Services for MasterCard Advisors. “We went through an extensive process to choose the right partner and Mu Sigma’s innovation labs and capabilities make them stand out as best-in-class in this field. By combining MasterCard Advisors’ purchase behavior insights with Mu Sigma’s expertise we will be able to drive faster innovations in data analytics solutions and deliver them on a broader scale, globally.” “ Big Data analytics is growing at a tremendous pace,” said Dhiraj Rajaram, CEO of Mu Sigma. “We have deep experience in this area, probably more than any other provider, and MasterCard Advisors has been leading in data analytics for a number of years among payments companies. We believe the combination of MasterCard’s deep data and information insights expertise when exposed to Mu Sigma’s Big Data analytics ecosystem will add tremendous value to various businesses. We’re looking forward to working closely with MasterCard to help drive innovation across multiple industries and help businesses succeed in new and smarter ways.” About MasterCard Advisors MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard Worldwide, provides clients around the world with insights and solutions that drive business impact and ROI. The company uses advanced analytics and deep payments expertise to translate data into actionable behavioral insights and customized services. With more than 80 billion anonymized transactions processed annually in 210 countries worldwide, the company leverages aggregated information and a consultative approach to help financial institutions, merchants, media companies, governments and other organizations grow their businesses. For more information, go to www.mastercardadvisors.com. About MasterCard MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews , join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news. About Mu Sigma Mu Sigma, one of the world’s largest pure-play decision sciences and analytics firms, helps companies institutionalize data-driven decision making and harness Big Data. Mu Sigma solves high-impact business problems in the areas of Marketing, Risk and Supply Chain across 10 industry verticals. With over 2500 decision science professionals and more than 75 Fortune 500 clients, Mu Sigma has driven disruptive innovation in the analytics industry with its interdisciplinary approach combining business, math and technology, and its integrated decision support ecosystem comprised of technology platforms, processes, methodologies and people. Visit www.mu-sigma.com .