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Marriott International

Capturing Online Behavior to Generate e-Commerce Insight

Over $500B in travel revenue is booked online every year, so understanding customers’ digital behavior is essential. To do this, Excella helps Marriott International track over 250 customer variables across 700 million annual website and app sessions. By managing the data capture lifecycle, Excella has better enabled Marriott to translate raw data into accurate and actionable business insights.

Increase Release Performance

Marriott updates design, content, and functionality across a dozen websites and mobile apps on a monthly basis. Prior to 2015 the scope and frequency of these updates, coupled with undocumented data capture processes across Marriott’s eCommerce, IT, and analytics divisions, frequently resulted in broken, delayed, and incomplete tracking. More critically, it caused Marriott to lose valuable insights into users’ online behaviors and interaction patterns. The result? Lost opportunities to convert visitors and maximize revenue.

Excella bridged these gaps by deploying analysts who understand the business behind Marriott’s product lines – including its analytics tools and reporting needs. We helped establish and manage a new governance process, and documentation, for data capture that defined clear responsibilities, timelines, and communication channels for each release.

The result is a standardized and repeatable approach that works across teams and applies cross-domain knowledge by:

  • Defining a holistic set of tracking requirements designed to answer stakeholders’ business questions and anticipate future ones
  • Ensuring that new tracking requirements are thoroughly vetted to guarantee retroactive functionality and protect platform-level data integrity
  • Enabling the reporting and statistical methods favored by the analytics teams
  • Complying with data warehouse ETL processes, and providing the technical detail needed to prevent downstream system-integration issues

Prioritize Quality Data

Low-quality data can sometimes be worse than no data at all. To identify trends and define KPIs, the data must always be complete, consistent, and clean. Therefore, Excella understands that data capture and data quality need to be tightly coupled. We help Marriott achieve this through:

  • Regular Testing via unit testing coordinated with the development team, pre-release regression testing against each build, and post-release testing in Production coordinated with the release team
  • Proactive Monitoring via ObservePoint simulations and regular audits based on Excella’s knowledge of product-line use cases
  • Education by maintaining, disseminating, and socializing master tracking-standards documentation, to ensure adherence to established data definitions

We bring this same focus on data quality to initiatives that fall outside of the general release process. When Marriott upgraded its tracking code by seven versions and changed the code precedence in the page-load, Excella led testing to ensure there was no impact to metric counts. When Marriott migrated into Marriott’s implementation of Adobe Marketing Suite, Excella managed the migration to seamlessly maintain all of Ritz-Carlton’s existing tracking. And as new data was loaded from Adobe Marketing Suite into Marriott’s data warehouse, Excella provided the quality assurance to make sure that the data was correctly transformed and modeled.

Providing Terabytes of Value

Data capture may not sound glamorous, but it is the foundation of digital analytics and the bedrock upon which all eCommerce decision-making is built. Because Excella manages Marriott’s data capture process to deliver timely and high-quality data, Marriott can spend less time wrestling with its data and more time using it to evaluate marketing campaigns, assess site changes, and understand customer behavior.

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