Ebay: Hadoop 'flexibility' favoured alongside Teradata for customer data analysis

Online retail giant has 'one of biggest Teradata implementations in the world'

Ebay is favouring the flexibility of NoSQL tools such as Hadoop alongside Teradata as its seeks to gain better insight into its customer data.

Speaking at the Financial Information Management (FIMA) event in London yesterday, Mark Uksusman, senior manager, data architecture at Ebay, claimed the online retailer has one of the largest implementations of Teradata in production. This includes two major Teradata clusters, one a normal data warehouse for its traditional reporting system, involving very structured data, and the other a bespoke platform, called Singularity, developed for deep analytics and data discovery.

However he said that open source data base software such as Hadoop, MongoDB and Cassandra offer more benefits for analysing data than its relational data bases.

"We are one of the biggest Teradata implementations in the world, we are processing 90PB of data," said Uksusman. "But are we optimised 100 percent? Maybe not, and maybe we need to think a bit about optimising our data warehouse and offload Teradata to Hadoop environments, which is more flexible and more developed for data discovery."

Uksusman explained that although tools such as Hadoop have clear benefits in areas such as real-time analytics, NoSQL databases are only considered for certain use cases, and would still tend towards relational databases where possible.

"I don't want to say that it is a 100 percent right solution [using non-relational data bases]. If you want to talk about secure transactions you have to ensure data governance and that your records are accurate, [for this} we are still using relational data base management system, Oracle, Teradata and so on.

"But if you are looking at something around data discovery, you would like to do some very quick processing and analyse information on the fly, and do some analysis of non-structural information, this is why NoSQL technology is there."

C-Suite gets behind digital customer engagement
Harnessing customers and content
Why customer data anlaytics is in vogue at the Specialty Fashion Group

The use of these tools is helping Ebay gain better insight into the masses of data that it generates and processes across its business. Uksusman said that, with the analysis of unstructured data such as social media feeds, this runs into many petabytes of data.

"We are not talking about terabytes any more at Ebay, not even hundreds of terabytes, we are talking about hundreds of petabytes that we are processing on different channels."

The information gained by Ebay's team of data scientists is being used to bring insights into customer behaviour, and enable predictive marketing.

This provides benefits as the company, which started trading purely as an auction site, moves into fixed price retail and attempts to tie in wider services such as its payments platform PayPal, and StubHub ticket trading.

"Right now we are doing more and more integration between the different companies. The challenge is huge because the companies already have some historic information, historic systems and data platforms, so integration is a humongous project for us."

"We would like to know if you go to StubHub or Paypal, and we would like to know if you are a customer of Ebay so we can offer you something on Ebay.com. Or, if you are a customer of Ebay, you can go to StubHub and buy tickets there."

He added: "To make sure we have a 360 degree view of our customer is very important, and big data is actually helping us to create this."

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

The real asset of small data – getting granular unearths opportunities

When most marketers use the word ‘data’, what springs to mind are large sets of numbers, Excel spreadsheets, cloud-based IT systems and complicated algorithms. Big data speak is the mot du jour. There is even a big data Week in London called the Festival of Data.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Digital Transformation challenges for CMOs

New problems are rarely fixed by applying old thinking. In the last decade, a combination of circumstances has evolved that requires new thinking from marketers. This new thinking takes advantage of the digital environment and transforms business as we know it.

Mark Cameron

CEO, Working Three

Why innovation requires less certainty and more ambiguity

According to the Knowledge Doubling Theory, the sum total of human knowledge doubles every 12-13 months. With the full evolution of the Internet of Things, it will eventually double every 12 hours. Faced with such a sea of shifting data and knowledge, how can we make progress if we try to nail everything down to a certainty?

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Great points. When it comes to optimizing the app experience, making sure you collect rich usage data is important, but making sure you c...

Dustin Amrhein

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

You can also use automation to help keep the contact database nice and tidy. For example, programs that check and fix database values (eg...

automatico

3 brands using marketing automation for more than just email

Read more

Digital marketing landscape is changing rapidly and you need someone who has hands on experience, keeps up with emerging trends and strik...

A.M. International

Predictions: 16 digital marketing trends for 2016

Read more

Its time consumers see their points as an financial asset which has value, and begin to manage them like money (with a plan and a desired...

Steve@iFLYflat

Virgin to offer customer loyalty program points as petrol currency

Read more

Love seeing the revenue gain from mapping the customer journey, not only for the business but for the client too! Very nice outside-in t...

magnipath

Customer journeys: The new differentiation battlefield - Customer insights - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in