Our colleague and Data Analytics Expert, Victor, had the great opportunity to participate this month to the SalesForce Commerce Cloud conference in Hong Kong to introduce the use of data-visualization in today's digital marketing world. Here, we've wrapped up the presentation and summarized its content for you readers.
Our colleague and Data Analytics Expert, Victor, had the great opportunity to participate this month to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud conference in Hong Kong to introduce the use of data-visualization in today's digital marketing world. Here, we've wrapped up the presentation and summarized its content for you readers. Introduction Be data-driven. You've heard that. As a digital marketer, you are meant to carefully listen to the divine voice of… data. And yes, being able to collect and leverage data is indeed key when it comes to make the most objective and efficient decision. But, let’s be blunt: raw statistics can be boring, sometimes frustrating, and more than often, very confusing. Besides, the China digital world with its very various platforms and channels, complex and long user journeys, does not really help gain visibility to make the most of data. You Need a Hero Fortunately, digital marketers have been able to powerfully overcome this difficulty by leveraging data-visualization and offset most related challenges. Data-what? "'Dataviz' is about communicating numbers or raw information, by transforming them into visual objects: dots, bubbles, bars, curves, maps. […] It is the art of showing figures in a more creative and appealing way, where Excel tables can fail.” says Charles Miglietti, Co-founder of Toucan Toco. To say it differently, the main goal of data-visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.  If the use of an analogy was needed to illustrate what all of this is about, we could simply say that data-visualization is to data, what "photoshopping" is to models: a very useful way to make the unattractive look very attractive:  Yet, in data-visualization, it is important to find the right balance between form and function, to avoid the pitfall of creating gorgeous data-visualizations for the sake of aesthetics which in the end fail to serve their main purpose: to communicate information.  By the way, has data-visualization been invented by digital marketers? Back to where it all begins No, the concept of data-visualization has not been invented by digital marketers willing to impress their team mates with awesome illustrations, or their clients with story-telling dashboards. Although, great pieces of graphics will sometimes impress your comrades, and will definitely help make decisions, the graphic portrayal of quantitative information has deeper roots, reaching into histories of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and are connected with the rise of statistical thinking up through the 19th century. The birth of statistical thinking was followed by a rise in visual thinking: diagrams were used to illustrate mathematical functions, various graphic forms were invented to help calculations, etc.  Digital marketers didn't invent anything here, but have instead simply participated in extending data-visualization's application scope to the communication of digital marketing information, using advanced tools: software solutions. short selection of data visualization software products (which will be further introduced in a future dedicated article) Dataviz is everywhere Digital marketers didn't invent data-visualization, neither do they have the monopoly of its use. Dataviz' is everywhere and everyday in your life: on your bank application, your fitness tracker, your user account in your favorite ecommerce site, in social media, etc.   And that's a good thing, as visual beings we are much better at understanding and seeing patterns and trends when the data is visualized. Use & Challenges But then, how could a digital marketer more specifically and efficiently leverage data-visualization? Clarifying information through the use of data-visualization, in the case of digital marketing, is a three-steps operation, which consist of: Combining data to unify views when multiple sources are exploited Transforming raw data into clear and appealing graphics Adapting dashboard visuals to the different audiences you speak to The purpose of a dataviz' solution has to go beyond the creation of nice visuals. Yes,transforming raw data into clear and beautiful graphics is cool. And, it is a key step to help gain visibility from illegible endless Excel spreadsheets. However, the transformation itself will not bring you enough clarity if you are not able to provide a unified view of these data when they are residing in different sources (Website, Wechat, Marketplaces, etc.). Besides, depending on the audience you are speaking to, you will have to select the most relevant information and adapt the way you introduce it.  Can a software help achieve that? Yes, Google Data Studio does. It is not the only one, but a great one. A beta version of Data Studio was released last year by Google, in March 2016, and made it free to use without much limitation. As a dataviz' software, Data Studio gives you everything you need to turn your analytics data into informational, easy-to-understand reports through data-visualization. Reports are easy to read, easy to share and customizable to each of your audience. Data Studio goes beyond just providing pretty dashboards, it allows to pull in more than just Google Analytics data, as it offers the possibility to import data from other sources via the use, among other methods, of Google Sheets. Social Media & Ecommerce data can for instance co-exist and show up in the very same reports without requiring too many manual interventions.   And when there's an update to the data source, the updated/new information automatically shows up on any reports that reference the source. In other words: your dashboards become dynamic.  Additionally, the reports are shareable, which will help give different accesses to different dashboards according to the audience you wish to convey information to. Oh, but yes, you'll need a VPN to access it from China, but it is worth all the pain.  Conclusion Being data-driven is essential when it comes to decision making, in particular in the field of digital marketing. Yet, to achieve that, you've got to get equipped with the right weapons. This is precisely where lies the purpose of data-visualization: it provides you with the right tool to accomplish the right mission. So, if you don't want to look like the guy below, we strongly suggest that you quickly get started with the use of dataviz' solution . To download the full presentation, click on the picture below:
Our colleague and Data Analytics Expert, Victor, had the great opportunity to participate this month to the SalesForce Commerce Cloud conference in Hong Kong to introduce the use of data-visualization in today's digital marketing world. Here, we've wrapped up the presentation and summarized its content for you readers.
Our colleague and Data Analytics Expert, Victor, had the great opportunity to participate this month to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud conference in Hong Kong to introduce the use of data-visualization in today's digital marketing world. Here, we've wrapped up the presentation and summarized its content for you readers. Introduction Be data-driven. You've heard that. As a digital marketer, you are meant to carefully listen to the divine voice of… data. And yes, being able to collect and leverage data is indeed key when it comes to make the most objective and efficient decision. But, let’s be blunt: raw statistics can be boring, sometimes frustrating, and more than often, very confusing. Besides, the China digital world with its very various platforms and channels, complex and long user journeys, does not really help gain visibility to make the most of data. You Need a Hero Fortunately, digital marketers have been able to powerfully overcome this difficulty by leveraging data-visualization and offset most related challenges. Data-what? "'Dataviz' is about communicating numbers or raw information, by transforming them into visual objects: dots, bubbles, bars, curves, maps. […] It is the art of showing figures in a more creative and appealing way, where Excel tables can fail.” says Charles Miglietti, Co-founder of Toucan Toco. To say it differently, the main goal of data-visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.  If the use of an analogy was needed to illustrate what all of this is about, we could simply say that data-visualization is to data, what "photoshopping" is to models: a very useful way to make the unattractive look very attractive:  Yet, in data-visualization, it is important to find the right balance between form and function, to avoid the pitfall of creating gorgeous data-visualizations for the sake of aesthetics which in the end fail to serve their main purpose: to communicate information.  By the way, has data-visualization been invented by digital marketers? Back to where it all begins No, the concept of data-visualization has not been invented by digital marketers willing to impress their team mates with awesome illustrations, or their clients with story-telling dashboards. Although, great pieces of graphics will sometimes impress your comrades, and will definitely help make decisions, the graphic portrayal of quantitative information has deeper roots, reaching into histories of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and are connected with the rise of statistical thinking up through the 19th century. The birth of statistical thinking was followed by a rise in visual thinking: diagrams were used to illustrate mathematical functions, various graphic forms were invented to help calculations, etc.  Digital marketers didn't invent anything here, but have instead simply participated in extending data-visualization's application scope to the communication of digital marketing information, using advanced tools: software solutions. short selection of data visualization software products (which will be further introduced in a future dedicated article) Dataviz is everywhere Digital marketers didn't invent data-visualization, neither do they have the monopoly of its use. Dataviz' is everywhere and everyday in your life: on your bank application, your fitness tracker, your user account in your favorite ecommerce site, in social media, etc.   And that's a good thing, as visual beings we are much better at understanding and seeing patterns and trends when the data is visualized. Use & Challenges But then, how could a digital marketer more specifically and efficiently leverage data-visualization? Clarifying information through the use of data-visualization, in the case of digital marketing, is a three-steps operation, which consist of: Combining data to unify views when multiple sources are exploited Transforming raw data into clear and appealing graphics Adapting dashboard visuals to the different audiences you speak to The purpose of a dataviz' solution has to go beyond the creation of nice visuals. Yes,transforming raw data into clear and beautiful graphics is cool. And, it is a key step to help gain visibility from illegible endless Excel spreadsheets. However, the transformation itself will not bring you enough clarity if you are not able to provide a unified view of these data when they are residing in different sources (Website, Wechat, Marketplaces, etc.). Besides, depending on the audience you are speaking to, you will have to select the most relevant information and adapt the way you introduce it.  Can a software help achieve that? Yes, Google Data Studio does. It is not the only one, but a great one. A beta version of Data Studio was released last year by Google, in March 2016, and made it free to use without much limitation. As a dataviz' software, Data Studio gives you everything you need to turn your analytics data into informational, easy-to-understand reports through data-visualization. Reports are easy to read, easy to share and customizable to each of your audience. Data Studio goes beyond just providing pretty dashboards, it allows to pull in more than just Google Analytics data, as it offers the possibility to import data from other sources via the use, among other methods, of Google Sheets. Social Media & Ecommerce data can for instance co-exist and show up in the very same reports without requiring too many manual interventions.   And when there's an update to the data source, the updated/new information automatically shows up on any reports that reference the source. In other words: your dashboards become dynamic.  Additionally, the reports are shareable, which will help give different accesses to different dashboards according to the audience you wish to convey information to. Oh, but yes, you'll need a VPN to access it from China, but it is worth all the pain.  Conclusion Being data-driven is essential when it comes to decision making, in particular in the field of digital marketing. Yet, to achieve that, you've got to get equipped with the right weapons. This is precisely where lies the purpose of data-visualization: it provides you with the right tool to accomplish the right mission. So, if you don't want to look like the guy below, we strongly suggest that you quickly get started with the use of dataviz' solution . To download the full presentation, click on the picture below:
With a population lately estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has now become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data.
With a population estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data. Upon this inaugural article of the analytics series, we will dress up an overview of the Chinese analytics market over its different facets: characteristics, trends, challenges and tools. #1 Paid media concentrate most of attention Paid media (PPC & Display) historically dominate advertising digital investments, driven by the needs of reaching the masses and catching a maximum of visibility. However, while related technologies have gradually improved along the past years, allowing to target much more precisely specific audiences (e.g. programmatic buying), lots of marketers have continued to pilot their campaigns through generic KPIs, originally around ad centric measurement (impressions, clicks, CTR), but also more recently around site-centric measurement (pageviews, bounce-rate, conversions). In addition, Chinese paid media market also includes lots of fake traffic (robots) perturbing global analysis. As a direct consequence, the measure and comparison of the performance (ROI) between the different acquisition channels often remain unclear while efficient solutions actually exist (we will describe one below). #2 The Chinese internet: a complex terrain From a technical perspective now, the Chinese internet remains a constant challenge for digital analytics for two main reasons: Market is split between different ecosystems At the opposite of the West standards, China internet appears to be vertically organized around three pillars: Social media platforms (Wechat, Weibo, etc.) answering specific Chinese needs for feedbacks and interactions with brands Marketplaces (Taobao/Tmall, JingDong, etc.) concentrating most of online shopping activities Third-party websites (brands, portals, etc.) serving the informational needs about products and services And, as no bespoke user-centric analytics solution has been available on the market so far, data need to be aggregated manually from separate sources in order to draw the most accurate picture of the digital property, at the cost of a tedious (and time consuming) work. But one more time, solutions exist. Market is quickly evolving As many already know, China is a place where everything is used to going a little faster than anywhere else in the world. This characteristic is especially true on the Internet where technologies drive constant new usage and ease. 2016 has therefore been the year of the mobile with a penetration rate of over 90% of total Chinese netizens. Here also, this new trend came along with some tracking technical issues such as the accurate recognition of “phablets” (huge smartphones between mobile and tablet devices that knew a certain success in China). #3 Latest analytics trends On top of the specific market & technic issues mentioned above, China digital analytics will also face more global challenges in 2017:     - Attribution: understanding the relations between the different acquisition levers that lead to the final conversion, to optimize advertising investments. - Conversion Rate Optimization: optimizing on-site user experience to maximize conversions without massive increase of investment. - Data visualization: drawing performance report through clear indicators to detect trends ahead and smooth decision-making process. #4 Web analytics tools Originally existing through a myriad of tools developed either by brands or web agencies and mainly based on server logs, Chinese web analytics tools remained for a long time limited to basic tracking only. However, rapid developments in the digital landscape helped revamp the offer. Below is a list of what we believe are the most representative tools on the market today. Google Analytics, the reference Often falsely accused of perturbing page loading time when not of being totally blocked (as is the Google suite in China), the tool still appears as one of the most effective solution available on the market and is often quoted as much for its tracking flexibility (making possible to track international campaigns over different sources and mediums - e.g. PPC, affiliation, programmatic buying), as for its flexible reports allowing to cross metrics and dimensions together, and therefore accessing data at an unprecedented level, eventually driving analytics to its latest extensions: bringing UX and technical insights. Baidu Tongji, the complementary tool As often in China, local competitors imitate leading products: Baidu Tongji is probably the most emblematic example. However, if Baidu Tongji mostly focus on chasing after Google Analytics - but always a bit behind the times, marketers still refer to it for local search campaigns as the tool is, for instance, the unique way to retrieve Baidu SEO keywords. Google Data Studio, the game changer Newcome of the Google suite, Data Studio aims at providing powerful reports that talk to their target thanks to a simple and intuitive layout. While the tool was initially conceived to dynamically retrieve data from Google Analytics, it also supports manual imports allowing the display of data coming from other channels (social media, etc), which turn it into a well-adapted tool for the Chinese market situation, Also: read our detailed introduction of Google Data Studio. Conclusion In 2016, while the Chinese internet has finally found its DNA, China slowing economy has led brands to develop sustainable growth, and yet, only a few of them have chosen to take advantages of the (numerous) analytics benefits, mostly for lack of knowledge. In the next articles of this series, altima° China digital analytics experts will share concrete insights to help you better understand and handle this critical phase in your digital adventures. Stay tuned.
With a population lately estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has now become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data.
With a population estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data. Upon this inaugural article of the analytics series, we will dress up an overview of the Chinese analytics market over its different facets: characteristics, trends, challenges and tools. #1 Paid media concentrate most of attention Paid media (PPC & Display) historically dominate advertising digital investments, driven by the needs of reaching the masses and catching a maximum of visibility. However, while related technologies have gradually improved along the past years, allowing to target much more precisely specific audiences (e.g. programmatic buying), lots of marketers have continued to pilot their campaigns through generic KPIs, originally around ad centric measurement (impressions, clicks, CTR), but also more recently around site-centric measurement (pageviews, bounce-rate, conversions). In addition, Chinese paid media market also includes lots of fake traffic (robots) perturbing global analysis. As a direct consequence, the measure and comparison of the performance (ROI) between the different acquisition channels often remain unclear while efficient solutions actually exist (we will describe one below). #2 The Chinese internet: a complex terrain From a technical perspective now, the Chinese internet remains a constant challenge for digital analytics for two main reasons: Market is split between different ecosystems At the opposite of the West standards, China internet appears to be vertically organized around three pillars: Social media platforms (Wechat, Weibo, etc.) answering specific Chinese needs for feedbacks and interactions with brands Marketplaces (Taobao/Tmall, JingDong, etc.) concentrating most of online shopping activities Third-party websites (brands, portals, etc.) serving the informational needs about products and services And, as no bespoke user-centric analytics solution has been available on the market so far, data need to be aggregated manually from separate sources in order to draw the most accurate picture of the digital property, at the cost of a tedious (and time consuming) work. But one more time, solutions exist. Market is quickly evolving As many already know, China is a place where everything is used to going a little faster than anywhere else in the world. This characteristic is especially true on the Internet where technologies drive constant new usage and ease. 2016 has therefore been the year of the mobile with a penetration rate of over 90% of total Chinese netizens. Here also, this new trend came along with some tracking technical issues such as the accurate recognition of “phablets” (huge smartphones between mobile and tablet devices that knew a certain success in China). #3 Latest analytics trends On top of the specific market & technic issues mentioned above, China digital analytics will also face more global challenges in 2017:     - Attribution: understanding the relations between the different acquisition levers that lead to the final conversion, to optimize advertising investments. - Conversion Rate Optimization: optimizing on-site user experience to maximize conversions without massive increase of investment. - Data visualization: drawing performance report through clear indicators to detect trends ahead and smooth decision-making process. #4 Web analytics tools Originally existing through a myriad of tools developed either by brands or web agencies and mainly based on server logs, Chinese web analytics tools remained for a long time limited to basic tracking only. However, rapid developments in the digital landscape helped revamp the offer. Below is a list of what we believe are the most representative tools on the market today. Google Analytics, the reference Often falsely accused of perturbing page loading time when not of being totally blocked (as is the Google suite in China), the tool still appears as one of the most effective solution available on the market and is often quoted as much for its tracking flexibility (making possible to track international campaigns over different sources and mediums - e.g. PPC, affiliation, programmatic buying), as for its flexible reports allowing to cross metrics and dimensions together, and therefore accessing data at an unprecedented level, eventually driving analytics to its latest extensions: bringing UX and technical insights. Baidu Tongji, the complementary tool As often in China, local competitors imitate leading products: Baidu Tongji is probably the most emblematic example. However, if Baidu Tongji mostly focus on chasing after Google Analytics - but always a bit behind the times, marketers still refer to it for local search campaigns as the tool is, for instance, the unique way to retrieve Baidu SEO keywords. Google Data Studio, the game changer Newcome of the Google suite, Data Studio aims at providing powerful reports that talk to their target thanks to a simple and intuitive layout. While the tool was initially conceived to dynamically retrieve data from Google Analytics, it also supports manual imports allowing the display of data coming from other channels (social media, etc), which turn it into a well-adapted tool for the Chinese market situation, Also: read our detailed introduction of Google Data Studio. Conclusion In 2016, while the Chinese internet has finally found its DNA, China slowing economy has led brands to develop sustainable growth, and yet, only a few of them have chosen to take advantages of the (numerous) analytics benefits, mostly for lack of knowledge. In the next articles of this series, altima° China digital analytics experts will share concrete insights to help you better understand and handle this critical phase in your digital adventures. Stay tuned.
In order to bring an ever-improving end-user experience and a conversion rate increase to our clients, we have started, at altima°, rolling up Redis caching services to our customers. In this article, we’ll be covering our deployment of Redis services to one of our high traffic clients, whose website has been tuned by our team with a set of blazing fast enhancements. These optimizations targ
In order to bring an ever-improving end-user experience and a conversion rate increase to our clients, we have started, at altima°, rolling up Redis caching services to our customers. In this article, we’ll be covering our deployment of Redis services to one of our high traffic clients, whose website has been tuned by our team with a set of blazing fast enhancements. These optimizations target an enhancement in SEO rankings and user experience through faster response time, leading to higher conversion ratios. Redis: Targeted caching Navigation menu As a website grows in features and capabilities, so does its complexity. And with complexity comes the need for optimizations. In today’s showcase, issues arose after we implemented a fully dynamic navigation menu, to be shown on every page of the website. This feature brings a lot of value but has a real performance cost. Our developer tools are always watching performance metrics When our teams noticed this new cost, we ran some benchmark and reduced the code footprint to the maximum. When that did not prove sufficient, we turned to another solution. A new hope: Redis cache! That solution was to implement a cache feature. Caching is a well known and effective way to further optimize a complex system, which cannot be trimmed down anymore. Cache strategies At altima°, we offer different caching solutions, backed by many different technologies. The most common strategies include using nginx/varnish HTML caching and redis template/database caching. All of them take responsibility of different parts of the webpage’s lifecycle. Typical caching strategies in the webpage lifecycle The best results usually come from a combination of these strategies. In our use case, the complexity is more precisely situated in one unique place, which will allow us to make a surgical focus on the template layer. Results In the end, we get the best of both worlds: high value-added features without any performance costs. Some number crunching has allowed us to measure the extend of the positive impact, as seen below. Numbers On a cache hit, the number of queries for the menu is down to the initial value, a perfect 0! The time for page generation has also greatly improved, as our benchmark shows. Benchmarking allows us be sure our improvements worked and pat ourselves on the back Depending on the pages and the traffic load, we register an improvement between grossly 40 to 60%. Our main benchmark on the home registered a 58% improvement, shown in the previous image. What’s next? We now have a working caching system and a proof of its efficiency. It is an easily implementable tool that has the potential to cache from 50% to 90% of the displayed data being cache-able. We strive and are proud to bring all such improvements to serve the best experience to the end customer and increase conversion rates for our clients.  

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