Challenges of Implementing “Big Data” for Your eCommerce Business

The world of eCommerce is ruled by technologies. And today Big Data is the cornerstone of marketing and sales strategies for most large eCommerce businesses.

But, what’s behind the rise of Big Data?

Well, with rising competition in the eCommerce segment, offering personalized customer service has become the Holy Grail of marketing and sales. And, in order to create effective and accurate personalized experience for each customer, gathering, segmenting and analyzing customer data is crucial.

Here, Big Data goes above and beyond of tradition data bases such as ERP or CRM!

When implemented successfully, Big Data analytics can help the decision makers to identify and predict trends, understand customer behavior, predict risks, make better pricing decisions, identify potential profit sources and much more.

However, Big Data implementation comes with its share of challenges.

So, here are the major challenges of Big Data implementation and how you can overcome them.

  • Formulating a Concrete Data Strategy

Well, most Big Data novices stake the success of the implementation on gathering as much data as possible.

However, haphazardly gathering data and then analyzing them to generate insight is fruitless if you lack a coherent data strategy.

Questions such as, which data do you need;what’s the right type of data; what’s the goal you want to achieve with the gathered data must be answered beforehand.

Collecting accurate data, storing it properly and analyzing the same requires significant investment. But, without a concrete data strategy, generating return on that investment is pretty difficult.

The solution for this is to clearly establish the data needs of your business. Without the same, Big Data implementation will drain your resources and will not produce the results you are expecting.

  • Technological Requirements

Big Data comes with a significant technological requirement. To make it function properly, one needs to have proper IT infrastructure, storage, bandwidth, CPU etc. Moreover, the highly variable workload means that the infrastructure requirements varies from time to time.

While it is easier for multinational eCommerce giants to invest in such an infrastructure, it often becomes a limitation of businesses with limited resources.

Opting for Cloud solutions can be the answer to this challenge.

However, ensuring the security measures and service quality of the Cloud vendor is crucial for success here.

  • Ensuring the Authenticity and Accuracy of the Data

With the advent of Big Data, analytics have changed significantly. Starting from descriptive analytics, to diagnostic analytics, to predictive analytics, today is the age of prescriptive analytics.

However, the integrity of any advanced analytics technology depends on the authenticity and accuracy of the data feed.

One of the major challenges for most eCommerce businesses is to understand which data to use for which analysis. If wrong data is fed at the input levels, even the most sophisticated analytics system would come up with faulty insights, leading to incorrect and potentially costly decisions.

In a region like Southeast Asia, where regional languages are many and diverse, translating the collected data into English is another challenge that businesses must face.

The only way to overcome this challenge is to first create a proper data strategy and then employ strong scrutiny to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the data.

  • Lack of Talent

Successful implementation of Big Data requires a team of skilled developers, data scientists and analysts with significant domain knowledge as well as industry understanding.

Given the fact that Big Data is a relatively new technology, finding the perfect fit is often difficult.

Another interesting phenomenon here is that technological knowledge is not the only requirement here. While a developer may know a lot about Hadoop, s/he may have no understanding of the eCommerce industry, in which case s/he is definitely not the best person to understand the analytics requirements.

One way to solve this is to hire technical experts and then train them about the nuances of the eCommerce industry.

  • Security of the Data

In today’s age data is money, more so when it comes to as highly Customer centric industry as eCommerce. Thus, ensuring the security of this data is crucial.

When it comes to Big Data security challenges, user authentication, restricted access, meeting various compliance guidelines, proper encryption in data in-transit are some of the major challenges.

Here, businesses must understand, putting stricter security measures in place may be a hasslesome, but in the long run it’ll only ensure that your data is safe.