eBay employs big data platforms to drive competitive edge

eBay analytics chief outlines how the online retailer is using analytics to cope with big data overload and drive value

Trying to make sense of the estimated 100 terabytes of new data received every day to meet changing customer expectations and keep a competitive edge has led eBay to start using big data platforms.

Speaking at the Teradata Big Data Analytics summit in Sydney, eBay director of data and data infrastructure, Alex Liang, told delegates that its website has more than 50,000 product categories with more than US$3500 goods sold every second.

“We know almost everyone is using a smartphone to browse listings on eBay, which means we get more data. This also means we need to process more data,” he explained.

Liang said his team was also under pressure from the finance department to provide better systems for increased analytics.

“For eBay, data is about value so if you cannot get value from big data you should not even work on it,” he said.

However, getting the value proved difficult because eBay’s integrated analytics environment has more than 100,000 data elements, 90 petabytes of stored data and tables containing 3.5 trillion rows of data. According to Liang, this environment was not easy to navigate for the 12,000 internal business intelligence (BI) users who range from data scientists to sales directors who want regular reports.

In 2011, the company began rolling out three different platforms which support a particular type of analytics. The company uses its enterprise data warehouse (EDW) platform for corporate BI reporting and a 40 petabyte Discovery platform called Singularity for website behaviour analytics. Its 40 petabyte Hadoop cluster is used for technical analytics such as counterfeit detection and image classification. EBay has also built a Data Hub to provide a central information platform for access to all analytics and information.

“Because the business environment is much more complex, you cannot have one analyst working independently. People must be working with each other to get deep data insight,” Liang said.

This information portal has been configured to drive collaboration between analysts with analytics that have been built by anyone in the company. It provides definitional information about each report and can be searched or browsed by category.

According to Liang, the Web design was borrowed heavily from the eBay website to make it easier for analysts to find the report they were searching for.

“We are facing very aggressive competition from other sites so data is the biggest advantage for eBay. Every business initiative we make is based on data,” he said.

Read more: CMO50 #11: Steven Brennen, EBay Australia

Finally, eBay developed an integrated dashboard hub called QuickStrike. Liang said the company was now considering machine learning techniques to drive more value from stored data.

“You don’t need to spend so much time finding different algorithms because once you have a big volume of data, machine learning will offer a higher rate of accuracy,” he said.

According to Liang, the future will be “live”- meaning real-time data loading and analytics. “Coupled with forecasting and predicting future events, this will lead to even higher value being delivered by the analytics platforms,” he said.

More on big data

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Thanks for nice information regarding Account-based Marketing. PRO IT MELBOURNE is best SEO Agency in Melbourne have a team of profession...

PRO IT MELBOURNE

Cultivating engaging content in Account-based Marketing (ABM)

Read more

The best part: optimizing your site for SEO enables you to generate high traffic, and hence free B2B lead generation. This is done throug...

Sergiu Alexei

The top 6 content challenges facing B2B firms

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Blog Posts

Getting privacy right in a first-party data world

With continued advances in marketing technology, data privacy continues to play catchup in terms of regulation, safety and use. The laws that do exist are open to interpretation and potential misuse and that has led to consumer mistrust and increasing calls for a stronger regulatory framework to protect personal information.

Furqan Wasif

Head of biddable media, Tug

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in