Beyond the boundaries of structured data: Part two


gift bagHow many times have you gone onto a website, put a few things in a shopping cart, and then exited the Internet? I do it all the time. Sometimes when I log on to that site during my next visit, those same items are still in my cart – ready for purchase. I find that very interesting since I logged on as a "guest."

On the Internet,  web logs collect information from every page you navigate to and every action you take on those pages. These logs are analyzed to help determine:

  • Navigation trends. Let’s say that 30% of the people who navigate to this page exit the website. That could be an indicator that the page is not very friendly. It might be time to consider making some changes to this page.
  • Purchase trends. I use the internet to purchase items (especially for the dogs) quite a bit. Web logs show what I buy and when I purchase, so that information could be used to offer me similar products or discounts on the items I usually purchase.
  • Wish lists. Many sites let you keep a list of the products or services you'd like to purchase in the future. Again, based on this information, the site may offer similar products or discounts. But (trust me), they will never forget that you put these items on your wish list.
Paper: SAS and Hadoop

Paper: SAS and Hadoop

Storing web data for analysis requires disk space. It's important to decide up front how you're going to prepare, retain and use the data. You may want to consider using Hadoop to analyze the data, and return valuable information that you could use for future sales. You may also consider merging this enhanced information with your existing customer data so you can run future analysis on combined data stores.


About Author

Joyce Norris-Montanari

President of DBTech Solutions, Inc

Joyce Norris-Montanari, CBIP-CDMP, is president of DBTech Solutions, Inc. Joyce advises clients on all aspects of architectural integration, business intelligence and data management. Joyce advises clients about technology, including tools like ETL, profiling, database, quality and metadata. Joyce speaks frequently at data warehouse conferences and is a contributor to several trade publications. She co-authored Data Warehousing and E-Business (Wiley & Sons) with William H. Inmon and others. Joyce has managed and implemented data integrations, data warehouses and operational data stores in industries like education, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, government, health care, financial, oil and gas, insurance, research and development and retail. She can be reached at

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