(Really) Knowing Your Customer
with Big Data
Hugh E. Williams
[email protected]
@hughewilliams
http://hughewilliams.com
Test versus control experimentation
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Divide the customers into populations
One (or two) population is the control
One or more populations are the tests
Collect vast amounts of data from each
population
• Compute metrics from the data, including
confidence intervals
• Understand the results
• Make decisions
Example: Larger Images in eBay’s Search
Test versus control experimentation…
• It’s hard to segment the population:
– Many users aren’t logged in
– Many users use several browsers
– Many users use several devices
• Attributing a result to a change is hard
– Need to know that the user was affected by the
change
– Need to understand interaction effects of changes
– Metrics are noisy
• Decisions are made with a confidence that isn’t
100%
What won’t data tell you?
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(Usually) An unambiguous picture
What you don’t measure
Exactly what to do
How to leap from one mountain to
another
• When to take risks
• When to be decisive
PS. I’m available for advising and consulting. [email protected]
THANK YOU