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How Bonobos Puts On Our Business Intelligence Pants--One Leg at a Time

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How Bonobos Puts On Our Business Intelligence Pants--One Leg at a Time

As the largest apparel brand ever built on the web in the US, Bonobos knows the importance of leading the tech adoption charge. We strive to make great clothing, provide great service, and to make the perfect fit and style available to everyone. In order to accomplish this goal, we’ve always led the charge of enterprise tech trends in the retail space. In the past we’ve been praised for our bold approach to ecommerce and building a brand online. We have also continuously innovated in the click-and-mortar space, with our Guideshops, as well as continual innovations in bringing our value of positive energy to social media.

As the Director of Data Science, I’m concerned mostly with Bonobos’ trailblazing in the analytics space. We are firm believers that we shouldn’t have to be database administrators to sell a great pair of pants (or shirts, or sweaters, or suits). For this reason, we’ve invested heavily in cloud business intelligence, integrating data from dozens of systems into every part of our organization. Scores of people from Finance, Marketing, Planning, Merchandising and Operations use that data to get the insights they need to run the business every day. Whether they are managing inventory, minimizing return rates, or deciding which promotions to run the data used to make those decisions come from the system we’ve built. We’re a small, four person team with a daunting mission, a mission only made possible by self-service, guided analytics.

Despite our small analytics team, we’ve been able to truly hone our data usage to discover actionable insights for our organization. We build predictive algorithms and analyze data to answer important strategic questions. Through the insights we’ve gained, Bonobos has been able to increase our overall view of our customers, tailoring our messaging and advertising like a well-fitting pant. We've even been able to fine tune our marketing and social ROI calculation, allocating our marketing budget in a way that maximizes contribution margin and time to payback. Visibility to our active customer base, in addition to who may be about to lapse, gives the Marketing team the insights they need to build campaigns designed keep customers engaged or bring them back. Using past purchase history to anticipate which products customers are likely to buy next lets us present the most relevant products in a personalized way.

Using insights-as-a-service, we've seen that cloud analytics aren't scary, and can transform a marketing organization and an entire company. Using the cloud keeps our data infrastructure overhead low, so we are able to focus our attention on solving business problems that have a direct impact.

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