Overstock.com Inc’s (OSTK) New Cloud Stack Is Like Getting a Seat in First Class


Born out of the negative effects of market manipulation during the financial crisis, online retailer Overstock.com Inc (NASDAQ:OSTK) recently developed a platform called TZero, the first SEC-approved blockchain-based exchange for ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), aimed at reducing financial trading costs, instantaneous settlement times, and counter-party risk mitigation.

But there’s a lot more to the story.

Overstock.com has chosen Databricks’ Unified Analytics Platform to enable an enhanced customized shopping experience that drives conversions and customer lifetime value. Databricks provides a serverless cloud infrastructure that enables Overstock.com’s data science team to more efficiently build, train and deploy machine learning models. Leveraging Databricks has improved Overstock.com’s data science velocity by 5 times resulting in an improved customer experience.

Overstock.com is the premier online destination for furniture and home décor, using technology to help savvy shoppers find the best prices on top styles to create their dream homes. The retailer has millions of products for sale onsite resulting in billions of visits and pageviews in Overstock.com’s historic web logs. However, only a small percentage of these visits and pageviews were converting to purchases. Overstock.com needed to be able to quickly build and iterate user scoring models based on interactions with its website. Sifting through the massive amounts of sparse data to construct customized features proved to be an enormous computational challenge. Overstock also needed to constantly optimize the customer click-through rate to keep up with the changing market conditions throughout the year.

“We want all the data, all the time, and all in near real time in order to make smart business decisions. Instead of focusing on our critical data problems and models, our data scientists found themselves dealing with the complexities of managing infrastructure,” said Chris Robison, Head of Marketing Data Science at Overstock.com. “It was our goal to provide our data scientists with the most innovative tools that allow them to be effective at what they do best – solve data problems. With Databricks, our new cloud stack is like getting a seat in first class. It’s just the way flying (or data science-ing) should be.”

Overstock.com’s data science team saw the biggest benefits with heightened collaboration capabilities and more efficient model training — improving data science productivity and time-to-market. With Databricks, data scientists at Overstock.com can build, validate and deploy machine learning models into production in fast iterations while leveraging a variety of libraries and toolkits in addition to native Spark. Overstock.com has decreased the cost of moving models to production by nearly 50 percent and data scientists can stand up new models 5 times faster than previously required.

Shares of Overstock are currently trading at $74.68, up $6.33 or 9.25%. OSTK has a 1-year high of $75.85 and a 1-year low of $13.75. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $51.11 and its 200-day moving average is $28.90.

On the ratings front, D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte reiterated a Buy rating on OSTK, with a price target of $85, in a report issued on December 1. The current price target represents a potential upside of 14% from where the stock is currently trading. According to TipRanks.com, Forte has a yearly average return of 14.5%, a 62% success rate, and is ranked #317 out of 4719 analysts.

Overstock.com, Inc. provides on-line shopping commercial site. It sells these products through their Internet websites include www.overstock.com, www.o.co and www.o.biz. The company operates through two segments: Direct Business and Partner Business. The Direct business segment includes sales made to individual consumers and businesses, which are fulfilled primarily from the company’s warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Partner business segment sells merchandise of other retailers, cataloguers or manufacturers primarily through company’s website.

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