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A Comprehensive Guide to Implementing an eCommerce Data Pipeline

If you want to start an eCommerce business, you need to think about various aspects such as your products, marketing, and branding.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Implementing an eCommerce Data Pipeline

Running an online business in the eCommerce industry means that you are running a business that creates a lot of data along the way. This data helps you stay competitive and make decisions based on facts instead of guessing. And we all know that guessing is never good in the world of business.

If you want to start an eCommerce business, you need to think about various aspects such as your products, marketing, and branding. But for all of that, you need to rely on data that you will collect as a vendor every day.

This data deals with website traffic, sales records, product details, inventory details, marketing efforts, advertising numbers, customer insights, and so on. Almost all operations related to your business generate various amounts of data.

But what should you do when you get overwhelmed with the amount of data that is being generated?

Well, you need to transform all data coming from your data sources into actionable insights that could mean a lot to your business. And you can do that with a data pipeline. Take a look below and learn more about eCommerce data pipelines and how they can benefit your business.

1. What is a data pipeline?

A data pipeline is essentially a set of tools and activities used to move data from one process with its method of data storage and processing to another, where it can be stored and handled differently.

In the eCommerce realm, a data pipeline should be seen as an automated process of various actions used to extract and handle data from different sources into a format used for further analysis.

Take a look at various places where your business data can be gathered:

A data pipeline allows a user to extract and move data from all disparate apps and platforms into one central place. It transforms it into a usable format for reporting across sources.

Therefore, all businesses that rely on multichannel insights need to recognize how a data pipeline can help them improve their processes. Remember, before one can extract valuable insights from the gathered data, they first need to have a way to collect and organize it.

2. ETL pipeline vs data pipeline

ETL pipeline vs data pipeline

A lot of businesses that rely on this kind of technology also talk about ETL pipelines. Moreover, many have ditched the traditional pipelines and got ETL ones.

So, what is an ETL pipeline? And how is it separate from a traditional data pipeline?

An ETL data pipeline can be described as a set of processes that involve the removal of data from a source, its change, and then loading into the target ETL database or data warehouse for data analysis or any other need.

The target destination can be a data warehouse, data mart, or database. It is essential to note that having a pipeline like this requires users to know how to use ETL software tools. Some benefits of these tools include facilitating the performance, providing operational resilience, and providing a visual flow.

ETL stands for extraction, transformation, and loading. You can tell by its name that the ETL process is used in data integration, data warehousing, and data transformation (from disparate sources).

The primary purpose behind an ETL pipeline is to collect the correct data, prepare it for reporting, and save it for quick and easy access and analysis. Along with the right ETL software tools, such a pipeline helps businesses free up their time and focus on more critical business tasks.

On the other hand, a traditional data pipeline refers to the sets of steps involved in moving data from the source structure to the target system. This kind of technology consists of copying data, moving it from an onsite location into the cloud, and ordering it or combining it with various other data sources.

A data pipeline is a broader term that includes ETL pipeline as a subset and has a set of proceeding tools that transfer data from one process to another. Depending on the tools, the data may or may not be transformed.

3. Are there any other kinds of data pipelines?

Keep in mind that there are quite a few data pipelines that you could make use of. Let’s go through the most prominent ones that have already worked for many other businesses.

  • Open-source vs proprietary. If you want a cheap solution that is already available to the general public, seeking open-source tools is the right way to go. However, you should ensure that you have the right experts at the office and the needed resources to expand and modify the functionalities of these tools according to your business needs.
  • On-premise vs cloud-native. Businesses still use on-premise solutions that require warehousing space. On the contrary, a cloud-native solution is a pipeline using cloud-based tools, which are cheaper and involve fewer resources.
  • Batch vs real-time. Most companies usually go for a batch processing data pipeline to integrate data at specific time intervals (weekly or daily, for instance).

This is different from a real-time pipeline solution where a user can process data in real-time. This kind of pipeline is suitable for businesses that quickly process real-time financial or economic data, location data, or communication data.

4. How to determine what data pipeline solution you need?

How to determine what data pipeline solution you need

You might want to consider a few different factors if you want to determine your business needs’ exact type of data pipeline. Think through the whole business intelligence and analytics process at your company and ask yourself these questions:

  • How often do we need data to be updated and refreshed?
  • What kind of internal resources do we have to maintain a data pipeline?
  • What is the end goal for our data?
  • What types of data do we have access to?
  • How should it be extracted, arranged, and maintained?

Keep in mind that you really can build a data pipeline all on your own. But connecting your various data sources and building a sustainable and scalable workflow from zero can be quite a feat.

If you want to do this and consider this option, think about what the process would look like and what it would take. A data pipeline consists of many individual components, so you will have quite a bit of thinking to do:

  • What insights are you interested in?
  • What data sources do you currently have access to/are using?
  • Are you ready to gather additional solutions to help you with data storage reporting?

If all of this seems overwhelming, do not worry. Most businesses out there don’t have the expertise (or resources) to devise a data pipeline independently. However, if you connect the right expert to your data storage, you might achieve this goal. It will not happen quickly, but it will be worth it.

5. Final thoughts

Take another look at the most critical parts of this guide and evaluate your business needs. Only then can you be able to come up with the right solution for your business.

Again, if you can’t make up your mind and struggle between ETL and traditional data pipelines, know that ETL data pipelines are used for extraction, transformation, and loading, while data pipeline tools may or may not include change!

Keep this in mind since it can make a difference even though it is just one functionality.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI in Education: Importance and Benefits of Using It

The potential is enormous, especially when artificial intelligence or simple AI is involved. It mimics the brain of the human and provides instant results and calculations.

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Artificial Intelligence App Development Trends

Technology is widely used in merely all spheres of human activity. It serves people in a variety of ways. It simplifies many processes, provides tips, speeds up any function, enhances productivity, and so on. The potential is enormous, especially when artificial intelligence or simple AI is involved. It mimics the brain of the human and provides instant results and calculations. Therefore, it is no surprise this technology is used in education with huge benefits.

Lauren Bradshaw is a famous writer, professional researcher, and blogger employed at a leading essay writing service called CustomWritings. She covers many topics related to students, education, and technology. She has shared one exciting thought, and we want to provide it here:

“The use of artificial intelligence will sufficiently ease the life of students in many ways. Students will comprehend and learn new materials very fast. Smart technology will help to develop skills fast, and they will be applied correctly. The perspectives are enormous.” We understand the point of view of Lauren, because we think the same way. Our helpful blog post casts more light on the benefits and importance of AI in education.

1. Automation

One of the essential benefits of AI is the automation of merely all processes. It saves precious time and energy. AI can help students, as well as teachers and professors. For example, students can create interactive schedules that reflect all the tasks and grades they have. Thus, youngsters will know what should be done and how good their score is. AI will calculate the odds, and students will know if any adjustments and improvements are required.

Teachers and professors do not have to spend heaps of time checking the progress of their students. An intelligent program will take into account the grades of all students and will provide the average rates. Educators will not spend their energy doing that and will have more time to heed the students who need their support more.

2. Big Data Collection

Artificial intelligence may help learners and educators in finding the correct information. It works fast and ensures the desired results. Every time you place an online request, AI registers it and saves it in your browser’s history. This function helps to speed up the process of searching and makes it more accurate. After it gathers enough facts from the requests of all users, you receive instant targeted results. For example, you may write an “essay,” and the browser will provide you with all related products:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • How to write an essay;
  • Essay writing structure;
  • Essay outline;
  • How to write an introduction to an essay;
  • How to research an article, etc.

It hugely saves time, and users receive instant search options that are relevant for them. AI may provide recommendations of information sources that can be helpful for students. These are:

  • Learning courses and programs;
  • Educational websites;

3. Assistance for Disabled Students

As we all know, some students have specific disabilities. They appeared because of accidents, traumas, or genetic peculiarities. Students have problems with talking, walking, or writing. AI can overcome most of those complications.

Let’s review a few typical situations. A student has problems with gripping. He cannot hold the pen firmly, and it is impossible to understand what he writes. Thanks to special digital writing tools and AI, this issue can be successfully solved. A student should take a special pen and write with it on the screen. AI will analyze what is written and will type it.

Another example is related to students with speaking issues. They may not be able to pronounce all the words. Thus, a specific AI technology can speak instead of them using an intelligent, sensitive algorithm. It can identify the quietest sounds and pronounce them instead of a student. Steven Hawking used to utilize this unique technology. Mind that he could not speak and even move.

4. Interactive Assistants

AI software is brilliant and can become the most effective helper of students. It is used in various learning tools and helps to improve skills and avoid mistakes. The most widely used learning apps based on artificial intelligence are:

  • Grammar checkers. These intelligent apps scan the text and underline grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. They also show how to correct those mistakes.
  • Editors. Thanks to online editors, students receive editing tips to improve the readability of their texts.
  • Topic generators. If you have problems with choosing a topic, topic generators will help you. AI proposes the most relevant ideas after you specify at least one keyword.
  • Organizers. An intelligent organizer may become your assistant. It will schedule and adjust your routine. Thanks to its assistance, you’ll be able to control time and optimize your work.

5. Virtual Reality

Artificial intelligence allows using virtual reality or, shortly, VR. AI will create unique environments for students according to their needs and the goals of their educators. For example, nobody can travel back in time to observe Ancient Greece or Rome or travel to the time when dinosaurs lived. Thanks to a special algorithm, AI provides this opportunity.

They should only put on special glasses and headsets to feel the virtual world as accurate. Such use of artificial intelligence makes lessons more attractive and provides more details necessary for adequate comprehension. It encourages students to attend such classes and do their best to succeed in learning.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the potential of artificial intelligence in education is beneficial for educators and learners. It assists fast and precisely. Students can find the required data, optimize their schedule, improve learning skills, get brilliant prompts, and save heaps of precious time. It is only necessary to find the right software, optimize, and use it correctly. The positive results will appear almost in a blink of an eye. AI has the potential we cannot ignore. It should be used wisely.

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