The growing importance that e-tailers and e-commerce firms generally attach to data analytics can be seen in the shift within operations teams towards hiring more data scientists as well as the interest from senior management in gaining a better understanding of how customer engagement impacts revenues and sales.
The sheer volume of online traffic that retailers experienced during Black Friday is captured in vast pools of data but the question is: what insights and intelligence can it shed that can shape and drive future revenues?
It’s often said that information is power and this still holds true today, to a greater extent. In today’s digital economy, the power that information can wield lies in the insights that it can offer about customer and end user online behaviours and the impact on revenues and sales.
However, information without context is worthless and all too often the devil is in the detail if anything meaningful is to be learnt. Step forward the data scientist and the application of data analytics in all aspects of the organisation, from digital transformation to digital performance management.
1. Managing performance like a product – the need for speed and analytics
Today’s 24/7 always-connected digital marketplace puts the consumer firmly in the driving seat. Where once retailers could pay lip service to ‘customer service’, customer expectations and demands mean that retailers’ revenues and reputations are intrinsically linked to the performance of their digital estates.
Engineering and DevOps teams will need to manage performance like a product, by using data from monitoring solutions and advanced analytics to shift from firefighting the most recent issues or optimising the slowest pages to identifying the key areas that need attention.
This trend will make prioritisation of IT initiatives a key focus, and IT development, testing and optimisation for pages that create the most revenue will come to the forefront.
Business and IT groups will need to be more connected and collaborate more readily to facilitate the management of performance like a product, because revenue will depend on it.
2. Data analytics – the glue the binds digital transformation
Digital transformation, which has morphed from a corporate buzzword to really being a ‘thing’, will continue to gain traction in 2017. Data scientists will become the social ‘glue’ that will compel business and technology teams to work in close collaboration, because data teams will continue to discover strong correlations between business metrics and technical metrics.
Though many e-commerce companies will struggle to emulate leaders such as Amazon, by the end of 2017 a new data-driven culture will finally be mainstream. The role of BizOps will attain a higher profile, and business and IT pros should lay the groundwork to start collaborating if they haven’t already done so.