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Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics by Bill Franks

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CHAPTER 2

Web Data: The Original Big Data

Wouldn’t it be great to understand customer intent instead of just customer action? Wouldn’t it be great to understand each customer’s thought processes as they determine if they’ll make a purchase or not? It had been virtually impossible to get insights into such topics in the past. Today, such topics can be addressed with the use of detailed web data. That’s what this chapter is all about.

There is no better way to understand what big data is all about than to actually learn about some specific examples of big data and how it can be used to drive business value. Perhaps no big data source is as widely used today as web data. We’ll dedicate this entire chapter to web data so that we can dive deeply into the topic and discuss applications of web data in detail.1 In Chapter 3, we’ll then have shorter discussions of nine other important big data sources that represent a cross-section of what is available and how such data can be used.

Organizations across a number of industries have integrated detailed, customer-level behavioral data sourced from a web site into their enterprise analytics environments. Most organizations, however, still end web integration with the inclusion of online transactions. Traditional web analytics vendors provide operational reporting on click-through rates, traffic sources, and metrics based only on web data. However, detailed web behavior data was not historically leveraged outside of web reporting.

Leading companies ...

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