Data Wins: The WibiData Blog

Why 360º Views Matter

31 July 2013 By Jon Natkins Comments.

In today’s competitive landscape, organizations rarely have more than a few seconds to engage their customers. Between smartphones, tablets, websites and kiosks- competition is often only a click away. However, the proliferation of personal devices has also created ample opportunity for organizations to learn more about their customers. So how do organizations utilize this information to enhance the application experience?

The key is for organizations to better understand the past and present of each customer while anticipating the future by analyzing their digital interactions. Organizations can create a 360º view by creating a central store of all customer actions. This central storage model is often built on an entity-centric storage system.

Entity-centric storage enables organizations to collect every user interaction across all applications, searches, purchases, likes, clicks and requests for product information. These systems create greater transparency for customer service representatives, sales associates and are used to inform automated systems that interact with users digitally. The greatest value organizations can derive from a 360º view is the business value generated by deploying Big Data Applications, which allow organizations to act on this global insight in real time.

The core capabilities of entity-centric storage is that all user data, both historic and current, is stored in one central location and can be accessed easily. In order to serve multiple sales and marketing channels, the storage system must be able to handle complex data types. Furthermore, the system needs to be able to store and query data in real time to ensure that applications can act on recent information to deliver content personalization, relevant search results, recommendations and detect anomalous behavior in a timeframe that is relevant to customers.

Pioneering organizations including Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and Google have successfully demonstrated the power and competitive advantage of real-time, data-driven Applications built on entity-centric storage.

Existing Systems Fall Short

Traditionally, entity-centric storage systems were built using relational database tables, where the relationship of all user activities were encoded in relational schemas across dozens or hundreds of tables. In order to store different types of information from different applications, these schemas grew extremely large, taxing the abilities of even the most sophisticated relational database systems.

In most modern enterprise data architectures, data warehouses typically store historical data and only a portion of the entire customer profile. The information about the current state of customer often resides in a separate operational data store. Achieving the 360º view requires combining data from both systems. In order to maintain these disparate data stores, organizations spend millions of dollars maintaining systems that cleanse data and move it back and forth between operational and historical data storage.

The Rise of Big Data Applications

Over the past few years, the open source community has created new technologies that can flexibly store historical and current data about each individual entity. These technologies have made it more economically viable for organizations to build entity-centric systems and develop Big Data Applications. Yet today, even with proper storage systems, developing Big Data Applications can be time consuming without a framework to streamline to the process.

Kiji is WibiData’s framework that provides the tools and libraries necessary to build Big Data Applications. Kiji can store diverse data, analyze that data in a meaningful way and use that analysis to improve the user experience. Kiji dramatically simplifies how organizations create and maintain 360º views of their customers.

Organizations are now able to utilize information about their customers to enhance the application experience. Understanding the past, present and future of each customer through every interaction has never been easier. With a 360º view built on a modern entity-centric storage system, organizations can unleash the business value that comes from deploying Big Data Applications.

For more information on Kiji: http://www.kiji.org

Learn about Big Data Applications here: http://www.wibidata.com/about 

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