Yahoo Japan’s Big Data Reports

The data tells stories. The search query data tells a lot about the searchers, but also can tell you the future. I like Yahoo! Japan’s big data reports. It shares interesting examples of query reports that they have analyzed from Japanese election results to newborn mother’s needs and forecasting traffic congestions from the query data. It is fun to read that most newborn moms start frustrating with husbands when a baby is around 45 days old, and start thinking of raising her baby as a model when a baby is around 102 days old.

One of the reports shows how Tokyo is unique from the rest of the country. The difference is surprising considering how small Japan is. Of 47 prefectures in Japan, Tokyo has by far the most search activities per person. In average, 46 prefectures have about a half of search activities compare to Tokyo.

Another report shows how they predict train congestions from the train schedule related search queries. Often times, they can connect the congestion prediction to a certain future event based on the station people search. This data is used for Yahoo! Japan’s “Congestion Radar Map” service.

In my presentations at the conferences, I often talk about the importance of analyzing the search queries to understand their customer base. By analyzing the data, you can understand when your customers start to think of buying certain things or planning a future event.  Once you map the key queries to customer journey, you can create content optimized for each stage of the customer journey.