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Getting More Out of Your Data Warehouse

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

David Strom discusses how to get the most from your data, touching on the use big data analytics and ensuring you're not throwing away valuable information without knowing it.

Understanding customers’ online behavior can be vexing: there’s been no other time in history when we could collect so much customer data, and yet know so little about who actually visits our Websites. Over the years, large data warehouses have been built to address this question, but often seeing what your customers are doing (such as the decisions they’re making as they shop your online storefront) isn’t really captured in the warehouse.

Looking at the data you throw away could also provide unexpected—and important—insights, as could linking separate data stores together, or tracking persistent data across different visits. All of these are key to boosting insights into customer behavior. These factors were part of several presentations at this week’s Teradata Partners annual user conference in Dallas, where companies were more than willing to discuss their adventures in data.

Germany’s largest online retailer, the Otto Group, gets about a million daily visitors to its fifty different Web storefronts. They set out last year on a project to better track their customers. Through a combination of tools, including Hadoop and a massive Teradata data warehouse connected to their Intershop ecommerce system, they were able to sift through terabytes of website log files. They came up with what they call “Customer DNA” to identify how their customers come and go on their sites.

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