Analytics Interview to Mercado Libre’s CTO Daniel Rabinovich

After the presentation I shared with you in my previous post I felt that I need more information from the CTO of Mercado Libre Daniel Rabinovich. So I invited him to an interview.

A little background about Daniel:

Daniel landed in Mercado Libre far in the year 2000 as Senior Developer. In just two years he was promoted to the Software Architect position to be  promoted again in 2003 to the Software Developer Manager position. He worked in that position un till 2007 when he was promoted again, in this case to the Software Developer Director position, then to the Product Development VP position in 2009.

Since the last year is the brand new Mercado Libre’s CTO. That’s Daniel, he looks like he is relaxed but at the same time he is making tons of things happen .

Well…here we go with the interview:

Juan: How is the daily work of capturing and processing in an organization with the volumes of traffic like Mercado Libre?

DR: Let’s imagine a “Maslow Pyramid of information”. At the bottom you have the most basic information useful to survive, to keep the website working properly. Climbing to the top, we switch to most sophisticated metrics related to speed, segments (mobile/desktop, organic/external, etc), flow analysis. At the top of the Pyramid you find the processed information that allows real positive product improvements. For instance the automatic optimization of the internal search engine.

Juan: Where to start?

DR: From the bottom :-) First is important to ensure the operation, the storage and the consistency of the generated information at all levels.

Juan: Do you have any example of an Insight that generated a huge positive impact for Mercado Libre?

DR: The grossest one I remember was starting to measure the perceived speed of our listings by the users. Was 18 seconds! Reduce that time to less than one third of it generated a direct and impressive acceleration in our business metrics.

Juan: Information or “business intuition”? What is more important?

DR: Both are important, Information is only useful when handled by people who understand the business in addition to common sense.

Juan: How should technology and marketing integrate their activities to generate the optimal implementation of an information system?

DR: In the hardest way: By working as a unit. If both areas work as separated things it is not possible to achieve a good result.

Juan: What’s your preferred book?

DR: Judging by the number of times I read it, should be “Think like a grandmaster” by Alexander Kotov.

Juan: What’s your place in the world?

DR: My favorite place is the “Delta del Río de la Plata”.

Thanks so much Dani for your time and the information you’ve shared with us.

You can follow Daniel in his twitter account @drabinovich

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