Decide.com uses big data to idiot-proof online shopping

Decide.com introduced a new feature today that will provide consumers with a ‘Decide Score’ to help them make shopping decisions. The score is based on a comprehensive analysis of ratings and reviews from across the web, intended as an objective, data-driven barometer for product quality.

The score is generated from more than 200 terabytes of data, including 7,000 expert reviews and two million user reviews from sites like Amazon and Best Buy. The score is on a scale of 1 to 100 and gets grouped into one of four idiot-proof categories, ranging from “Love It” for high scores to “Don’t Buy It” for bad scores.

Currently, 22,000 electronic products are tagged with a beta version of the score. From this pool, 9% of products have scores 90% or above; 31% products are in the “We Like It” group; 48% of products fall under the “You Can Do Better” heading (ouch); and 12% sit at the bottom of the barrel.

If the stereo system you thought of purchasing is not recommended, Decide.com will present you with higher rated alternatives.

When it launched in 2011, the site offered price predictions for electronics and appliances by analyzing big data to determine whether it was best for a consumer to “buy” or “wait”. Using this algorithm, it has saved consumers an average of $101 per product.

The company is now expanding the price prediction “buy” or “wait” feature to three new categories: sports and outdoors equipment, tools and hardware, and lawn and garden products.

The service was co-founded by Oren Etzioni, a master of price comparison technology. His previous startup, Farecast, applies predictive analytics to airline fares, and another of his startups, Netbot. was the world’s first major comparison-shopping site. Decide.com has raised $8.5M from Madrona Venture Group, where Etzioni is a venture partner, Maveron, and angel investors. It is based in Seattle, Washington.