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Big Data & Analytics Heroes: Thod Nguyen

July 8, 2014

Thod Nguyen, chief technology officer (CTO) at eHarmony and this week’s IBM Big Data & Analytics Hero, shares that “the faster we can actually have more insight to the data, the more we can actually feed that insight into our compatibility matching system to further improving our match quality.” 

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How are big data and analytics changing your business strategy?

We have been operating at the forefront of big data and machine learning. We actually collect 100 terabytes of data per day from multiple data sources across multiple platforms including desk top and mobile devices. We are also tracking all user activities and engagement and also user behavior with data analytics to provide a lot more insight into behavior in order to best determine compatible matches.

How have big data and analytics impacted how you do your job today?

We have massive data volumes that we’ve been collecting for the last 14 years. And we’ve never really tapped into this gold mine. Keeping big data is one thing, applying predictive analysis or predictive analytics is a different thing. So, without the right big data solution, it’s impossible to process data in real time. Performance is very critical to us. It’s not just about analyzing and processing data, it’s about how quickly can we actually process this 100 terabytes of data, complex data, very rich data. Having more insight into our customer behavior which is very crucial to us to determine not only the top quality and compatible matches, but also to help generate more business value from a business and financial perspective.

What "gold nuggets" have you uncovered using big data and analytics?

We apply a lot of data science to love, but also derive a lot of big data that we collect from multiple data sources throughout user engagement with our website. The faster we can actually have more insight to the data, the more we can actually feed that insight into our compatibility matching system to further improving our match quality, most importantly, the compatibility aspect of it, which is how it differentiates us from 100 plus of other online dating sites.

With big data we were able to increase our subscription base revenue-wise, close to 100 percent in terms of year over year growth, but at the same time reducing our data processing by four times.


View all of our Big Data & Analytics Heroes here on the Hub.