Case Study

Networld Gains Real-Time Business Insight Into Web Data for Fast Decision-Making

Executive Summary

Aiming to enhance communication among people through enjoyable services, Networld Technology Ltd. has created Hong Kong’s three most popular online communities including the No. 1 forum Discuss.com.hk, the No. 1 comparison shopping site Price.com.hk and the No. 1 gaming portal Uwants.com. With millions of users accessing these websites around the clock, Networld wanted to better analyze user data to derive maximum business benefits. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise, the company has seen benefits including:

• Real-time business analytics

• Seamless IT system and website monitoring

• Improved revenue tracking 

SPLUNK PRODUCTS
SPLUNK SOLUTION AREAS
Challenges
    • Manual searching and monitoring were insufficient for business analytics
    • Time-consuming data aggregation procedures delayed business decisions
    • Lacked centralized view of sales performance and revenue 

     

Business Impact
    • Gained efficient operations due to real-time, end-to-end visibility into business processes
    • Improved performance due to effective system monitoring and status tracking
    • Real-time revenue analysis generated new business opportunities 

     

Data Sources
    • Weblogs
    • Transaction database
    • Third party APIs

Why Splunk?

Networld had been trying to gain business insight from the daily logs and transaction data from its three websites. However, manual calculations and analyses had to be done on Excel spreadsheets, wasting hours of the operations team’s time daily. The lack of a real-time analytics platform also restricted Networld from going the extra mile in driving future business growth.

According to Patrick Ng, head of Networld Technology’s Data Science team, Networld discovered Splunk Enterprise in 2016. After a single trial, the team was impressed by the powerful Search Processing Language and the Splunk platform’s ease of use. “We were also amazed by the platform’s great exibility, as there is no limitation on data schema,” Ng says.

Networld adopted Splunk Enterprise to boost the health of its websites, facilitate troubleshooting and generate business activity dashboards for in-depth analysis and future planning. 

“We never imagined that we could create dashboards this easily. It only took us five weeks to begin aggregating, searching and understanding our data and building dashboards to gain actionable visibility. Splunk makes a real difference in our business intelligence and paves the road for our next business endeavors.” 



Patrick Ng, Head of Data Science team Networld Technology Ltd.

Sales performance and transaction details in real time

Designed for enhancing the shopping experience with the latest price reviews and comprehensive information on various products and services, Price.com.hk is offering more than 130,000 products from local merchants. Its business team needed to centrally monitor the overall business trends of various retail brands, and identify the top products, categories and merchants for business management purposes. 

With Splunk Enterprise, Networld replaced manual reporting with powerful dashboards that show all of this information in real time and in a user-friendly graphical interface that keeps track of the overall performance of the website. The price.com.hk team was able to deploy the software quickly, ingest database and weblog data, build its first dashboard and gain actionable visibility into its data in only five weeks. Today, with only a few clicks, the Networld team knows the overall sales performance, top product categories by transaction count, top selling merchants at a certain point of time, as well as price or referral fee trends of each brand’s products. Valuable Operational Intelligence is available on-the-fly, not only offering Networld the insight into why things happen, but also providing insight into future trends. 

Site activity monitoring at fingertips

With more than 5.5 million registered members representing wide-ranging demographics, Discuss. com.hk is the most distinguished discussion forum in Hong Kong. Splunk Enterprise offers an easy way to explore and compare the activities among different sub-forums by generating real-time threads treemap queries, and helps Networld monitor the health and key performance indicators of the site. 

By clicking on a certain part of a treemap, users can immediately explore content generation and traffic details of a sub-forum, such as the number of new threads generated and related hot topics being covered. With those insights, timely and targeted promotions can easily be planned and carried out. 

Automated ad revenue tracking

Networld works with a range of online advertising networks across its websites. Splunk Enterprise enables Networld to automatically track revenue generated from each online advertising network in seconds, replacing a manual process that took hours or days previously. The automatic tracking function also removes tedious data aggregation procedures and boosts overall business efficiency. Dashboards of revenue trends as well as a daily or weekly summary of each advertising network can be generated easily, enabling Networld to compare revenue generation of each network any time and grasp emerging opportunities.