Research and innovation in big data in the retail sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of big data related patent applications in the industry stood at 10 in the three months ending April – down from 109 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to big data followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 76 in the three months ending April 2021 to 14 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Big data is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

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By GlobalData

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

JD.com Inc was the top big data innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in China, filed six big data related patents in the three months ending April. That was down from 25 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd with four big data patent applications, and the United States based Amazon.com Inc (3 applications).