SuperNova Award Category
- Data to Decisions
- Digital Marketing Transformation
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new car and used car information, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week, Kelley Blue Book delivers the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.KBB.com, including the famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values, and Fair Purchase Price which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. Kelley Blue Book also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, as well as governmental agencies.
Kelley Blue Book had an opportunity to improve the website experience for visitors who were researching vehicles on KBB.com, as well as further develop the value proposition for website partners, including advertisers, by increasing performance for advertisements and creating an integrated view of multiple data assets to enhance analytics and reporting. The company had to overcome data fragmentation (i.e. information silos), which was hampering the team from realizing the full potential of its data by causing delays in data collection, management and analysis.
Kelley Blue Book embarked on a significant initiative related to digital data and the enterprise data warehouse, known internally at Kelley Blue Book as Web360, in order to create a single 360-degree view of online activity and behavior across disparate data sources throughout and from outside the enterprise. Replacing a fragmented assortment of data integration tools, as well as proprietary data integration frameworks, with a unified platform approach to integration, the Web360 initiative is enabling the company to profile, cleanse, integrate and analyze large data sets with complex relationships for the first time. This involves integration of such complex and Big Data sources as ad impression click data from third-party DFPs, clickstream data, advertising order management data and user-uploaded data.
As a result of the Web360 initiative, Kelley Blue Book has been able to improve its analytics intelligence, achieve a holistic view of data, and generate powerful new insights for the organization and our partners in such areas as website click-through, pathing and ad performance. The impact on the approximately 11+ million monthly KBB.com site visitors is seen in an enhanced and more compelling consumer experience, creating increased performance for advertisers who benefit from new and faster data-driven intelligence. The initiative has resulted in faster time-to-market for new Kelley Blue Book products and services, due to the ability to leverage a common set of data integration practices and technologies, as well as faster publication of vehicle information and vehicle valuations to KBB.com.
Kelley Blue Book implemented the Informatica Platform from Informatica Corporation as the data integration backbone of the Web360 project, providing a common set of processes and technologies for accessing and integrating all types of data and delivering it to any target at any latency. In addition, the company used tools from Netezza, MicroStrategy and SAS to help with this initiative.
Prior to Web360, obtaining the data available for ad tracking was time consuming. The data analytics team would spend days punching the numbers and trying to aggregate data, with the potential for human error. For reporting data, this process sometimes resulted in data not being ready until two weeks after the month closed. Now, the team can pull aggregate data daily and better understand how ads are tracking before the end of the month. The monthly reports are ready the next day. Similarly, new data files can be added easily. Before, adding a data file could take up to 80 hours if it were complex. Now the process is automated and allows the company to absorb any data file in minutes.
Creating and leveraging a holistic view of Web data is a challenge shared by companies across almost all industries, and Kelley Blue Book’s Web360 provides a blueprint relevant and extensible to any digital company in search of competitive advantage and a foundation for future business initiatives. In Kelley Blue Book’s case, the company now is able to put data at the heart of every business process and decision, which in turn allows us to quickly understand vehicle market trends, speedily devise new products and services, and improve the value proposition for KBB.com users and our customer, including vehicle manufacturers, dealers and lending institutions. Kelley Blue Book has been one of the first companies to pull all this data together and put it to work. Based on our pioneering success, we will not be the last.
Web360 has become a tool for understanding site visitor behavior and is an asset for selling new advertising products and optimizing ad placements in near-real time. An important milestone in enabling this understanding has been the ability to bring in clickstream data from third-party providers and integrate it with other Web data to improve advertising performance measurement. For example, Kelley Blue Book now links clickstream data to ad server data, which allows the company to measure visitor behavior before and after any event on the site across any metric. A good illustration is when a visitor arrives on a pricing page for a certain vehicle, typically a good indication of interest in that vehicle. The question we want to answer is: Did seeing a certain advertisement for that vehicle result in more visitors landing on that page? With the Web360 pathing solution, these types of analyses are now possible.
Another important enabler has been the use of Informatica Platform components such as the Pushdown Optimization option and partitioning, as well as IBM Netezza Bulk Reader and Writer. Using these options enables us to load ~70 million fact-level transactions a day. In addition, the process builds various aggregates and performs complex ETL based routines, such as inferring ad products and linking clickstream and ad server data. All of this is performed end-to-end within the SLA with a comfortable buffer.
About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Suggested Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. KBB.com provides consumer pricing and information on cars for sale, minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader Group.