Personalization is fast becoming an opportunity, and a challenge. It’s an opportunity to make the right engagement—an ad, a coupon, a recommendation, and more—with the right visitor at the right time. But the ability to ingest, process, and utilize the amount of data necessary to create personalized experiences is a challenge for relational databases.

Relational databases are overwhelmed by the volume of data required for personalization

A personalized experience requires vast amounts of data: demographic, contextual, behavioral, and more. The more data available, the more personalized the experience. A significant source of data is clickstream data—i.e., high volume, high velocity data—the type of write-intensive workload that overwhelms relational databases. In contrast, a distributed NoSQL database like Couchbase can elastically scale to meet the most demanding workloads.

After ingesting visitor data, the next challenge is maintaining accurate visitor profiles. It’s not uncommon for visitor profiles to include hundreds if not thousands of attributes, as the number of attributes constantly grows. Increasing the number of attributes improves accuracy, but it can result in hundreds of millions of visitor profiles. While relational databases rely on fixed data models and offer limited scalability, document databases rely on flexible data models and provide unparalleled scalability. 

Couchbase enables user profiles to be accessed and updated in near real-time, fostering brand loyalty and improving visitor engagement. This has become not only a user expectation, but a business requirement. While relational databases are limited to the speed of disk, a database like Couchbase, with integrated caching, can operate hundreds of times faster, at the speed of memory. Its flexible data model based on JSON documents enables agile development.

Customer Highlights

Dominos creates personalized marketing campaigns with unified real-time data

Dominos is a world leader in pizza delivery operating a network of company-owned and franchise-owned stores globally. One reason for Dominos’ continued growth and success is their focus on customers, and their realization that harnessing data could provide the best mechanism for driving loyalty and repeat business. The company created an omni-channel marketing system for the vast amount of data coming from POS systems all over the globe. Couchbase’s distributed architecture provided the company with the scale to serve every store worldwide. SQL support made it easy for legacy developers to adopt, and multi-model features allowed Dominos to process operational workloads, facilitate full text search, and analyze customer data within the same system. These capabilities combined to create a nimble system where analytic insights could be applied to operational situations almost immediately—now highly targeted campaigns no longer take weeks to formulate—recommendations are made in real time when they have the greatest likelihood to incentivize customers and drive increased business.

Marriott provides a modern customer experience for the digital age

Marriott is the largest hotel brand in the world with over 30 brands and nearly 8,700 properties across 139 countries. To maintain its competitive edge in the digital economy, Marriott wanted to create personalized customer experiences, improve online reliability, and release new apps faster. After a technical and architectural evaluation, Marriott chose Couchbase to replace its legacy infrastructure. Couchbase had already proven itself in the industry, and Marriott’s solutions architects were impressed by Couchbase’s built-in cache, ease and flexibility for moving and adding cluster nodes, and easy disaster recovery. Now data is replicated to multiple geographic areas with optimized response times and improved availability. A scalable, flexible cloud-based model reduces application development costs and improves speed. Marriott supports 30 million documents, accessed at 4,000 transactions per second, to deliver personalized customer experiences for each guest.

Comcast creates a single view of customers across multiple lines of business

Comcast, a leading provider of video, high-speed internet and voice services with nearly 30 million customers, uses Couchbase to deliver better customer support across multiple lines of business. A key part of Comcast’s business model is to provide a customer experience that is always improving. Achieving that goal is complicated because customers interact with Comcast in many different ways – and capturing all those interactions to build a single view of each customer has become a serious challenge with relational technologies. With Couchbase, Comcast presents a complete picture of each customer’s account and status when support receives a call, resulting in better, faster service for the company’s customers. Multi-dimensional scaling allows cost-effective growth, totaling 40M+ documents and 61K users.

Read more: 10 Common NoSQL Use Cases for Modern Applications


Posted by Matt Spillar - Product Marketing Manager

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