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Cluster Analysis and Factor Analysis

Subhash Sharma & Ajith Kumar

Consider the following situations: The marketing manager of a large financial institution is interested in developing portfolios of product offerings that would appeal to various market segments. The manager of a large telecommunication company is interested in developing and managing a portfolio of customers that would generate substantial profits over their lifetime. The store manager is interesting in identifying the optimal mix of products demanded by its customers. In each of the above scenarios, the manager's objective is to group stimuli (e.g., product offerings, customers, and mutual funds) into groups such that stimuli in each group are similar, and stimuli in each group are different from stimuli in other groups. Cluster analysis is one of the techniques in the manager's toolkit that can be used to achieve this objective. The purpose of this chapter is to present a nontechnical discussion of cluster analysis. Suppose a major soft drink company is ...

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