Marks and Spencer uses Cloudera Hadoop analytics to improve understanding of multichannel customers

As part of the project, M&S put together a cross functional team from marketing, finance, ecommerce and IT to select a big data provider based on certain criteria

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Marks & Spencer has deployed an open source Hadoop-based data analytics engine to better understand customer behaviour.

M&S has adopted the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub Edition system to analyse data from multiple sources. M&S says the analytics system is providing a “better understanding of consumer behaviour in a multichannel environment” and “improved device attribution modelling”, helping M&S to continue improving its digital platform.

Jagpal Jheeta, head of business information and customer insight at M&S, said: “We evaluated potential partners that could help us build an analytics hub and complement our in-house capabilities to make data-driven decisions across the business.

“Smart and efficient data usage is a key focus at M&S, as it ultimately fuels better customer insight, engagement and loyalty. We needed a scalable, robust and future-proof strategic partner. Cloudera is aiding us in leveraging analytics to better serve the business now and in the future.”

As part of the project, M&S put together a cross functional team from marketing, finance, ecommerce and IT to select a big data provider based on certain criteria. This included the supplier being able to execute efficiently, being able to partner and collaborate through an ecosystem, a supplier able to support flexibility and customisation of the platform, and delivering a secure way to scale the big data being produced.

Jason Foster, business solutions manager for big data, analytics and marketing at M&S, said: “Essential to M&S was the ability to work with a strategic technology partner that would help to build our big data platform alongside our in-house team. We used Cloudera University and Cloudera’s Professional Services to accelerate our progress in creating a great enterprise analytics capability.”

To date, he said, M&S’ main use case for big data analytics has been to develop a 360-degree customer view offering better understanding of purchase patterns and shopping behaviours across channels. The end goal is to “design the perfect customer experience”.

The enterprise data hub will also be used to plug gaps in campaign management, manage customer loyalty data, and use data from digital assets to help create more personalised and targeted communications.

Enterprise business intelligence departments will “not exist in a few years’ time” if they do not adopt Hadoop in at least one instance, British Airways’ data exploitation manager recently warned at a Hadoop summit in Brussels.

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