Online traffic has a story to tell – have you tuned into it?
Every business today wants to build a successful online presence to thrive in this global economy. Big investments go into building this online presence that includes websites, online stores, social media content etc. Successful businesses focus on the effectiveness on this investment as this goes a long way in reducing one of the important metrics that direct impacts the bottom-line and that is customer acquisition costs. Insights from the online traffic can play a huge role in attracting more customers at a reduced cost. How can businesses today improvise to serve and attract more customers? The answer perhaps lies closer to the business than you would think. Let us explore this further.
In my last blog on Big Data scenarios, I talked about how successful companies need to get insight from the data that resides outside an Enterprise system (ERP, CRM etc.) to re-invent their business. In this post, I would like to put the spotlight on those scenarios that help in getting more insights on analyzing online traffic i.e. the website or a web store. The digital footprint on your site can provide some great insights; many businesses often miss to analyze this and leave out a key touch point with arguably one of their largest customer base. The source of the clickstream on the websites is not far away – it is in the web server logs of servers that host your sites. So what can we discover from this source?
Well, turns out that the servers capture information like IP address, browsers used, source of the click, pages visited by a user, searches, links clicked etc. If you look closely, it also traps malicious activities like denial of service attacks, SQL injections etc. Typically for the IT department that manages these servers, it is great information to optimize the hardware and software to ensure continuous availability of the site. They also know what type of browsers, mobile devices do their customers typically use and this gives them the ability to fine tune their software to test, optimize and support the variety of devices. Additionally, for the business user in Sales or Marketing would be keen on understanding the customer base – their geography (based on IP address), what products interest them; buying patterns, campaign effectiveness from originating clicks etc.
We have made an attempt to focus on delivering these insights in our newly released Big Data Intelligence rapid-deployment solutions. Customers can now easily provide the server logs as inputs to SAP Event Stream Processor (ESP) . Pre-configured rules in ESP will analyze the continuous stream of data coming from web servers like Apache , IIS etc. ESP has the ability to parse this data in real-time using the log file input adaptor and execute specific actions. So what type of details are available in this RDS ? Here are some of the examples:
- Source Analysis for understanding requests made from browsers and mobile devices
- Time Series Analysis to understand the traffic patterns over a period of time
- Originating Site Analysis helps to understand how the customers are coming to your websites (search engines, other websites, online ads etc.)
- User Navigational Analysis helps to understand what content is getting accessed frequently and in what sequence.
- Unique Visitor Analysis (Actuals and Predictive)
- Alert report identifies number of potential malicious activities and identifies originating locations
All this analysis when done in the context of the geo-location data gives more insight into the traffic and activity. It tells a better story about how well your digital presence is working for your business. Tuning into this story could help to manage your investments better going forward.
Does this RDS provide solutions to find all possible insights from your web server logs? The answer – it may not give all possible insights but it gives many customers a good starting point to explore more into what they can get from such analysis. Using the best practice approach customers can easily extend these scenarios according to their business needs.
Customers with investments in SAP HANA and SAP Event Processor will have access to the RDS content for Big Data Intelligence RDS on Service Marketplace for free. Customers will realize a quicker time to value for their Big Data investments with such an approach.
Do you see some applications for this in your business ? Engage with us through this blog and through the RDS community where we will focus on the Big Data scenarios.