transactions every day
Understanding the buying and selling patterns hidden among millions of daily transactions is crucial to the core business of eBay -- one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. eBay needed a faster, more efficient way to sift through their massive 50 petabytes of data to separate true market signals from noise, and to ensure accurate insight. They turned to SAP HANA software to help improve predictability and provide key intelligence to sellers.
The challenge of sifting through data
San Jose, California, USA
High Tech, Professional Services
In 1995, Pierre Omidyar wrote the code for an "experiment": giving everyone equal access to one global marketplace. He tested his new auction website by posting a broken laser pointer, and to his surprise, a collector bought it for $14.83. Today, eBay introduces buyers to sellers all over the world.
What would happen if everyone in the world had equal access to a single marketplace? eBay has the answer: with a presence in 39 markets and more than 90 million eBay.com users worldwide, trading more than $1,900 worth of goods each second, they’ve triggered a radical transformation, becoming the global leader in e-commerce and payments.
eBay was founded on a simple idea: people are basically good. This fundamental belief helped create a completely new kind of marketplace, transforming e-commerce along the way. Today, eBay’s values continue to guide how they do business and connect buyers and sellers all around the world.
Analyzing tens of thousands of variables and millions of transactions daily is tough, but that’s exactly what eBay needs to do in order to provide actionable intelligence to their sellers. eBay relies on more than 300 analysts to study the data from the North America marketplace on a full-time basis, and they are responsible for understanding online shopping patterns within specific product categories.
In the past, eBay used Excel charts to categorize the trend data. These charts were then emailed between the geographically dispersed teams to analyze the data. Much of the process was manual and not particularly scalable. If anomalies in the data were not identified quickly, it could also lead to errors and opportunities could be missed.
eBay decided to partner with SAP to gain real-time insights through an early pattern detection system powered by predictive analytics on the SAP HANA platform. eBay also turned to the Design and Co-Innovation Center team from SAP for design concepts that would let them handle signal detection quicker and more efficiently.
The team redesigned the way analysts navigate through eBay’s data to maximize the amount of information displayed on the screen and to make it easier for them to find patterns. To display task history, for example, a new spiral design based on the Fibonacci Sequence is used that accommodates up to 4 times more information and lets you plot data for an entire year on one screen. The analysts can also drill down though different levels of data and display statuses at each level.
SAP HANA can analyze 500 metrics and automatically select the best model to determine 100% accuracy, 97% of the time. This reliable automated detection system frees up bandwidth so eBay analysts can spend their time on strategic tasks – and stay focused on connecting buyers and sellers, rather than on administrative tasks.
The value of speed
eBay now leverages predictive analytics on SAP HANA to power their early signal detection system for the marketplace – all to gain insights into their virtual economy, identify opportunities, and take corrective action. eBay knew where to turn to solve their big data problem and the firepower that SAP HANA provides is untouchable.
With enhanced signal detection and notifications in real-time, eBay is better equipped to identify data anomalies and correct errors. Using innovative user experience design helps eBay analysts to be more efficient, minimizing the number of clicks and interactions it takes to gain insight.
The new tools have had a considerable impact on the job of the marketing analysts. What previously took up to one month can now be done in a single day. Analysts have the right data at their fingertips and a holistic view that lets them make more informed decisions. Because of the speed with which they can access and use data, analysts can now gain insights that enable them to think proactively, act strategically, and focus on new ideas for increasing sales.
Great people become exceptional
Pinpointing market behaviors helps the company win a better understanding of the eBay economy – and they plan to embrace this capability to the fullest.
Just the beginning