Analysing big data in order to make improvements is now the "normal way of working" for retailer John Lewis, enabling data from many different places to be used in order to improve online customer service.
That's what Aleem Cummins, release manager for johnlewis.com, told Computing during an interview at the Splunk Worldwide Users Conference 2013 in Las Vegas.
"In the past I might have said 'crunching data', but now it seems more natural, it's just like an extension of what you do. So we do our analysis, but it's just something that we do that doesn't feel like you're crunching data. It just feels like this is the normal way of working now," he said, describing it as a "natural evolution to the new way of working".
Cummins added that Splunk has provided a number of benefits for John Lewis.
"I think that Splunk is very positive for us. The more that goes into it, the more 'gold' that falls out the other end, and for us the gold is the customer experience," he said, adding that thanks to Splunk and big data more generally, it might also be possible to retire older technology.
"The more systems we can put into it the better overall view we can have. We can maybe retire things like our monitoring tools, that'll be a good cost saving initiative. But it's also going to be a good improvement on our monitoring as well because we're all going to be using the one thing," Cummins explained.
"We're also going to be doing pre-emptive and proactive alerting, that's going to be fantastic as well," he added, suggesting other areas that data could be brought in from.
"Hopefully, we'll do something on the mobile side to bring that data in. And also [from] partners in the cloud, we're looking to bring some of that data into Splunk as well."
Cummins told Computing that being able to take advantage of data being generated improves things for John Lewis and its customers.
"So we're bringing in data that was always in different places, speaking in different languages. We're bringing it all into the mothership, if you like, and that's going to allow us to get a better view of the landscape, and give us opportunities to make improvements," he said.
"Hopefully our productivity will be better, our customer experience will be better and we'll all be happier," Cummins concluded.