Minding the E-commerce Analytics Gap
When it comes to making e-commerce decisions, a lot of businesses are flying blind.
Managing customer experiences on the Web requires the ability to react to trends and events in real time. But before any of that can happen, the people running the site need to have access to reliable analytics information that can tell them what's really happening in real time.
Unfortunately, a new survey of 228 IT and marketing professionals, conducted by Endeca, a provider of information management and analytics software, finds that business executives are routinely making decisions without being able to see all the relevant data.
The good news, says John Andrews, vice president of marketing and product management for business at Endeca, is that many IT organizations are trying to do something about this by investing in "Big Data" projects that will create a repository for all the relevant data. There's nothing new about Big Data in general; it's just becoming more affordable to store, manage and analyze.
Obviously, a huge source of that Big Data is coming from social media and networking sites, which marketers want to analyze in order to better frame the content that is being surfaced on their websites. The challenge, says Andrews, is that in order to be relevant to the conversation taking place on the social network, marketers need to able to analyze volumes of data in real time.
Andrews says this means that businesses of all sizes are going to be looking for e-commerce solutions in the future that have real-time analytics capabilities built into the platform if for no other reason than to limit the amount of integration work required and the time it takes to change a particular business analytics requirement.
Ultimately, Andrews says businesses want analytics to be part of one fluid e-commerce process versus something that resides in a separate application environment, especially now that marketing has become more of a science and less of an art in the age of the Web.