Data analysis in the new Commerce 2.0 environment brings many challenges with it due to the nature of the collaborative network and also the partner culture to protect their intellectual property.  These challenges though can be overcome through cloud tools with careful planning and coordination.  Fortunately, the same mobile technology and platforms encouraging the consumer’s drive to shop and ability to purchase any time and any where also provide the basis and framework to support the type of big data analysis required to understand and develop new retailer capabilities.  The cloud brings a standardized architecture to this problem that provides the basis to both share the vast amounts of data and also the tools and software to perform the analysis.

Many smaller and especially newer retailers have embraced the cloud for their technology needs because it provides a robust, stable and resilient platform and the tools necessary to support these retailers’ back office requirements.  The larger retailers though have been slow to embrace the shared cloud because they have already implemented a robust, stable and resilient private platform within their organization.  The larger retailers have spent years developing and improving the software they utilize to support their business, in the past at least this has been viewed as a competitive advantage for these larger retailers.  The cloud capabilities have now reached the point where the secured services and storage provide the same capabilities to small retailers as the larger retailers developed themselves, and all this is provided at a reasonable rate that is based on usage.  This provides the new retailers the same capabilities as the larger retailers at a fraction of the cost to develop from scratch.

This has worked very well for back office type services and storage requirements so the next logical step is the analysis capabilities provided by big data practices.   The cloud is the perfect architecture to provide big data services, it provides the platform to support collecting and storage of large amounts of data necessary to perform the analysis and it provides a platform for the software services to perform the analysis.  This next step in cloud capabilities now provides the same robust big data analysis capabilities to anyone at a fraction of the cost to develop themselves.  This next step in capabilities also provides the framework to perform complicated analysis across an extended collaborative network.

The challenge from your collaborative network will be to identify the data requirements to perform the analysis and then to provide the access to that data in the cloud to perform the analysis.  The cloud provides the platform to bring the data together without the complicated and costly acquisition of storage or services.  The cloud simplifies the technical requirements so your collaborative network can focus on the procedures to share the data and the analysis of that data.  Your collaborative network can take advantage of the same technology and capabilities that are driving the consumer shopping and purchasing capabilities. 

And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?