Interview with Jens Plattfaut

data driven commerce

What means data for your company/function?

The foryouandyourcustomers Data Driven Commerce team supports their clients in creating better user experiences by using data in many sophisticated ways. As responsible for the team, I see it as a central requirement that our work with data delivers value to our customers and their customers. Many companies are generating data with no clear image on how the data can be used to achieve their business goals. Our role is it to make sure that our customers are understanding the value of their data, generate the right data in a good quality and implement data-driven solutions and data-supported decision-making where they create additional value.

How do you use data to achieve your business case?

Before we start to use data, we evaluate and optimise the data quality of our customers. With our digital supply chain management approach we aim to hold the quality of digital products and their representation to the same standard as physical products. This is a necessary requirement for every multichannel retailer, as it enables them to sell their products digitally through a broad variety of channels and markets, while being in control of the image their brand creates.

The next step entails the implementation of technologies such as search & merchandising and recommendation solutions like Fredhopper, FACT-Finder or Prudsys to provide a visitor with relevant, in-time and high quality content that he looks for. We use personalisation and targeting techniques we do not only improve the conversion rate of retailers, but also support traffic acquisition, average basket size and customer loyalty.

Having built a solid foundation of data-driven technologies to provide customers with products their look for, we employ advanced data analytics to explore the benefits of available data in a broader context. This includes defining the right data architecture for our customers, combining data from all channels along the customer journey and analysing the data to make better decisions in all departments of a company. Through additional data mining and data visualisation we then boil down the insights to concrete cases how to optimise the status quo according to current business requirements of our customers.

What is the future of data?

I believe that we are only at the beginning of understanding what data can do to improve our lives. New developments in fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence, data storage, processing speed and the multitude of available connected devices are just starting to demonstrate their capabilities and impact on our daily lives. Thus we are at the start of a new digital age in which data gathering, exploitation, visualisation and smart combination of different data sources and expert knowledge will revolutionise how we solve problems, from everyday issues to society-changing ones.

In sum, data will become even more important in the future than it is already today, as can be inferred from upcoming innovations like self-driving cars or the infamous Internet of Things. This creates a huge opportunity for the ecommerce world: Through staying excited for new developments, letting IT engineers experiment, data scientists explore and take some risks, we will be able to create a common understanding of the potential of companies and realise our vision. A vision of a digital, data-driven tomorrow.

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