Jetstar spins up new data lake and analytics in AWS

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Jetstar spins up new data lake and analytics in AWS

Targets customer personalisation in first instance.

Jetstar has stood up a new data lake and advanced analytics platform backing onto AWS, which it is using in the first instance to better understand its customers and to personalise services for them.

The low-cost Qantas subsidiary revealed details of the project for the first time yesterday via Contino, a consultancy that specialises in digital transformation projects and is deeply embedded in the AWS ecosystem.

Though Jetstar had a traditional structured data warehouse, it could not handle new data sources such as “high-volume web traffic data” that Jetstar wanted to combine with its own data holdings in order to better understand its customers, Contino said.

In particular, Jetstar wanted “to provide its customers with better destination recommendations” and to be able to “target individual customers with relevant content and improve response and conversion rates” when it emailed them.

The airline engaged Contino to design and build an advanced analytics platform on AWS to better handle customer data.

It is using both AWS Redshift and Elastic MapReduce (EMR) “to better organise and analyse very large data sets”, Contino noted.

The airline has also created a “machine learning implementation plan” to try to get even more value out of its data, though it was not specified whether it will use AWS algorithms or tools within that ecosystem to develop its own.

According to Contino, the platform it configured for Jetstar provided a “significant capability uplift ... and allowed them to better shape their personalised offerings to customers.”

“It has enabled the airline to offer more relevant content and destination recommendations, which has resulted in an improved experience for the customer and higher conversion rates,” the consultancy said.

It appears the airline also has bigger plans for its AWS advanced analytics infrastructure.

The platform was designed with reuse in mind: Contino said it had relied on “modular components that can be reused for other business areas, reducing cost and time to get insights for additional use cases.”

The customer personalisation and destination recommendation use case had been judged a success internally, according to Contino. However, this was just “the first stage” of Jetstar’s analytics journey in AWS.

“Additional business units and departments are [now] exploring multiple use cases for the new platform to gain better insights from their data and support their decision-making processes,” the consultancy said.

The project offers a rare glimpse at the IT workings of Jetstar, which has generally avoided disclosing a great many details about how it operates.

Back in mid-2016, the airline discussed what it looked for in an IT infrastructure outsourcing partner, but would not identify the service provider it chose.

It also briefly disclosed a data analytics drive in the same year called Project Data sMart though, again, it declined to offer any details of what the project entailed.

In late 2017, Jetstar attended Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference, where it revealed ambitions to use technology for smart customer servicing.

Though a product demonstration was shown at the conference, there was considerable ambiguity over the technology’s production status.

It would appear, however, that some of the analytics discussed a year ago at Salesforce have been re-routed to form part of the AWS project.

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