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It’s a MADS World: How Macy’s Uses Data to Breakdown Silos Quickly

In December 2019, leaders in Big Data Analytics, Data Science, CRM, Marketing Analytics, Customer Experience & related fields descended upon New York at the Marketing Analytics and Data Science (MADS) Conference to learn about actionable best practices, practical case studies, and cutting edge technology. In a fireside chat between Doug Mitarotonda, Head of Analytics, at Outlier, and Laura Giverts, Director of Marketing and Business Analytics at Macy’s, attendees learned how the retail giant uses the Outlier automated business analysis platform to quickly analyze their marketing and product data to break down silos and make informed decisions using their data. Here are some key takeaways of how Outlier has helped them find and take advantage of opportunities. 

What to do with all of that data

As one of the largest US-based retailers, Macy’s has thousands of product SKUs, hundreds of marketing campaigns, and millions of daily website visitors. That’s a massive amount of data for any marketing analyst to process and consume on a daily basis.

Not only is there a lot of data, but it all lives in different sources (e.g., web analytics, individual data sources from every marketing vendor including Search, Social, Affiliate, and Email data, etc.)

The volume of data companies store and analyze continues to grow, often living in various silos, making the roles of marketing analysts and data science professionals more difficult to know what questions to ask of their data each day. Outlier has customers who have billions of data points and millions of segments, and Outlier has “made analyst teams become more effective by analyzing all of their customer segments each day, identifying hidden trends and opportunities by providing them the questions to ask of their data,” said Mitarotonda. 

Breaking down the silos

Each day, Macy’s has a “SWAT” team that dives into issues with data. Now the SWAT team can include starting their day with a feed of key insights alerting them to impactful business changes. Outlier feeds are set up specific to each marketing tactic (Search, Email, etc.) to help each analyst focus on the stories most impactful to them.

Particularly during the holiday season, checking on Outlier has become an essential part of their routine first thing every morning. Why? It saves time and makes their team more proactive rather than reactive. Issues are caught earlier, and more opportunities to capitalize on business trends are realized.

Initially, only Macy’s marketing analytics team was using Outlier. Today the usage has expanded to Macy’s marketing teams themselves, data engineers, product managers and executives who get a higher-level daily insight summary. The expansion has been fast thanks to how easy Outlier is to set up and deploy, “The easiest deployment ever,” according to Giverts. It took only days to start seeing insights from their data!

Results are in

Automated Business Analysis platforms are fast becoming a necessity for large businesses because it is difficult to uncover meaningful insights, and their root cause, given many organizations have petabytes or even exabytes of data to sift through. If you want to find unexpected changes in your data, check out a retail demo or sign up for a retail webinar.