Tech Best Practices: Why A Spike In Sales Is Not Always Good News
From Pnina Rappeport on September 3rd, 2020
If you need to predict how much revenue an eCommerce site will generate this quarter, you could use the previous quarter’s revenue as a guide, but this does not take into consideration any other valid parameters, such as how much traffic came to the site in the current quarter, the site’s bounce rate, or other metrics that may be much better predictors. However, to understand which metrics can be used as predictors (or other tasks), you must first understand which metrics are related to each other and how. For a small-scale operation, these relationships can be manually defined. For certain types of metrics, such as IT, tools such as configuration management databases (CMDBs) may automate some of the discovery of the relationships between the metrics. But if you want to incorporate metrics beyond IT, such as application metrics or business metrics like revenue, and at the vast scale most digital businesses require, machine learning tools are needed. Inbal Tadeski shares key machine learning methods for correlating metrics at scale, without having to do any manual configuration. Implementing these methods at scale can be computationally expensive, so Inbal also shares methods for reducing the computational resources needed—in particular, she discusses how to scale the similarity and clustering methods. Along the way, Inbal explains how to identify causality, since correlation does not necessarily equal causation. In many cases, it may not matter that the metrics are correlated but not related causally. However, sometimes it does.