E-commerce technology adoption by internet retailers: An empirical study of E-commerce retail development
This summer, I had the opportunity to work with Professor Netessine in Wharton’s Operations, Information & Decisions department to understand how major internet retailers adopt technology within their e-commerce operations. Over the past few months, I’ve taken on data manipulation and analysis projects that explore the presence, distribution, and usage of e-commerce technology vendors in the context of online sales metrics, as well as learn about various econometric research methods and their implementation in R.
When I started in June, I had what I would later understand to be a rose-colored view of data analysis. My experience prior to the summer had revolved around introductory statistics classes and extracurricular involvements, on projects that generally came with prepped, cleaned datasets and clear-cut steps for analysis that we were to carry out. As a result, I was definitely unprepared for the many hurdles that came with trying to clean, combine, and manipulate ten years of (largely manually inputted) data across thousands of companies. I came to learn that data, especially when dealing with large datasets, can get messy quite fast, and that a little bit of coordination and due diligence on best practices ahead of when you sit down to write code can save a lot of time and worry later on.
Another lesson I’ll take with me from my experience in research this summer is a new mindset when it comes to taking on large problems that seem too much to tackle. Especially with the experience I had at first, some projects felt impossible to understand and complete, but eventually I learned to take such projects one step at a time, breaking them into more manageable, logical pieces that are easier to digest and resolve.
Overall, I feel much more confident in my data analytics and statistics abilities than when I began, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to expose myself to new bounds not just in business, but in research as well. This experience has truly affirmed my interest in a career around data analytics, and I look forward to taking some of the things I learned this summer and applying them in my future classes and projects.