The methods and tools required to analyze your consumer community demands and activities to identify improvements will require massive amounts of data from many different inputs and functional areas, internal, external and industry based in order to success in identification of potential improvements.  Then when you have identified the potential improvements there is another analysis required to determine the benefits and the methods to implement improvements.  These many leveled analysis methods require patience, focus, experience and a strong level of curiosity and experimentation to implement and obtain the benefits.


I think that the most critical aspects are curiosity and experimentation and these are closely followed by patience and focus.  You must never be afraid to fail in your experiments because without failure you would have no idea what doesn’t work.  This analysis and experimentation must be performed on a continual basis and as a loop where the analysis feeds the experimentation and the confirmation then feeds new data for analysis and experimentation.  As you can see this is the classic continuous improvement loop of Plan, Do, Check and Act.  My point is not that the process is something new however the data required for the process must be collected from multiple and varied sources and requires a big data analysis focus and tool set to efficiently perform the required analysis. 


The analysis data requirements are dramatically expanded in this model because of the data required to analyze the consumer reaction and actions within the community.  This interaction of the consumers within the community produces a great deal of data from both the interaction between the consumers and the community, the consumers and other consumers in the community and the consumer navigation across the community and patterns for execution and when the consumer returns to the community.  These are data points that can all be collected for analysis but you can imagine the amount of data this will generate that must be analyzed for effective results. 


Next you can imagine the questions that will be generated by the analysis from all partners within this extended community.  This will also require a framework to meet discuss and determine direction in utilizing the data and the analysis of the results.  Each partner within the extended community can require a different viewpoint to understand the impact to their organization and then the impact to the community.  As a result of this analysis that identifies potential paths and benefits you can see the importance of clearly defined experiments and analysis of the results of the experiments (the ‘Do’ and ‘Check’ process of continuous improvement).


The good news is that the act of developing and implementing this process and framework will itself solidify and improve the process.  This will then improve the cycle of Plan, Do Check and Act to allow you to increase the velocity of the change cycle which will allow you to meet the challenges of the consumer community integration and support.


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?