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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Leveraging Data Analytics - OriyaRasoi !!

What does the term analytics mean to you ? Is it just about a high paying job vacancy that you saw on on a job seekers website ? Or is it something that you associate with the finance/retail sector ? While data analytics plays a very important role in shelf space management (retail sector) by determining how the goods need to be strategically placed for grabbing maximum eyeballs (it could be something as simple as placing a more expensive item near the entrance or placing it on a shelf at reaches eye level), it is also predicts crucial trends for risk management and portfolio management in the banking sector.

Image courtesy : www.ftt.co.uk

Data Analytics can be loosely defined as the practice of gathering loose data and converting it into useful information that can be used for decision making . But is it something new ? Not really. While the term 'data analytics' is a shiny new term coined by folks who have also infused it with a halo that is more intimidating than enlightening, it has been in practice since ages. Decision making among humans has always been based on knowledge acquired in the past and recognizing patterns in it. For example, a grocery store will stock up on more ghee/sugar/maida/besan during the festival months. This forecast of greater sales figures comes from recognizing a pattern that has been repeated over years. Another interesting example is the vegetable vendor who comes to my apartment exclusively on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Unlike Mondays/Tuesdays when people have veggies stocked up from their weekend trip to the malls or supermarkets and the weekends when people prefer to eat out. these two days have maximum sales for him. And hence he deviates from his regular beat on these days.

Now, how does data analytics help the food blogger ? These are some of the tangible benefits -

Image courtesy : www.vbsoftindia.com

  • Better understanding of the audience helps to prioritize  - Closely tracking the audience can help detect patterns and create segments based on age/preferences/purchasing power. Each segment can then be given customized attention. For example, let us take the age group 25-35. Quite a few folks in that group will be interested in eating out and hence restaurant reviews/restaurant style dishes are a big hit with them. But when one moves to the 35-45 age bracket, these folks give more preference to simple recipes and health becomes a priority. 
  • Analysis of data over a period gives an idea of the seasonality factor - Blog audience numbers are  not consist over the week. Some days may show a spike while others will have a low. Scheduling blog posts around the peaks will ensure maximum visibility. Similarly, not all months will have the same number of visits. Ability to anticipate a lean period helps one to be better prepared for it. 
  • Knowledge of the geographic reach of the audience helps to plan better - India has a very diverse population and its festivals are equally numerous. And hence the huge market for festive /special dishes. Since these dishes are so unique to regions, it helps to know where the majority of audience is located. For example, a blog that caters mostly to a North Indian population would do good to stock up on recipes that are regularly prepared during Navratri.
  • Can provide a deeper understanding of the demographic reach - It becomes very important when one starts associating with brands. Brands always have a target audience in mind when they seek to market a product. And if a blogger can support his claims with the help of blog metrics, both the parties stand to be benefited.

Is there anything that might benefit the audience ??

  • Get ready for a customized experience - Oriyarasoi has already started implementing a single point of entry/search for the five regions that have the highest reach. It will help the user navigate better when searching for popular dishes from a specific region
  • More recipes catering to a specific festival or a seasonal vegetable - Since there is a great diversity when it comes to the dishes that are prepared during festival times/seasonal dishes, it becomes important to know the audience reach to be able to cater effectively to their requirements. And I can vouch for the great audience feedback that it comes from it. .

Since Oriyarasoi is the first food blog to adopt an analytics based approach, going forward, we will be sharing a report of weekly snapshot/report of our blog metrics every Sunday.

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