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Kotak Institutional Equities, Google launch Consumer Querimetrix

MUMBAI: Kotak Institutional Equities, a division of Kotak Securities Ltd, in collaboration with web giant Google, has launched Consumer Querimetrix—a tool that predicts near-term Indian consumer behaviour by analysing Google Trends data.

Using machine learning techniques and merging big data from Google Trends, the first edition of Consumer Querimetrix provides consumer insights into India’s evolving car buying journey.

Using Google Trends data, the tool enables ‘nowcasting’ (near-term predictions) on consumer activity, capturing inflection points earlier than traditional forecasting tools to give a complete picture on car launches, last-mile hiccups, cannibals and competition.

Google India industry director Vikas Agnihotri said, “With over 300 million internet users online and growing, India today has a sizeable population that accesses the internet on a daily basis, making search queries as the most dynamic data input to arrive at consumer insights through machine learning as illustrated by Kotak’s research.”

Each edition of the Consumer Querimetrix series will focus on consumer behaviour in a different industry.

Launching the first report, Kotak Mahindra Bank joint MD C Jayaram said, “The digital wave is challenging conventional business practices across industries. Ground rules are evolving rapidly along with the consumer and those in the business of business intelligence need new tools to keep up with the changing landscape. Consumer Querimetrix is our step in that direction. Today, the sheer volume of consumer-centric search data available presents a tremendous opportunity to analyse and throw up actionable insights. These takeaways would be useful to both companies and investors. KIE research is highly valued by our clients and the launch of Querimetrix will further strengthen our ability to cover the Indian markets in a holistic manner.”

The first edition of Consumer Querimetrix, which focuses on the passenger car segment, highlights the extent to which the internet is altering the ground rules for vendors of cars and allied products/services. With growing access to easy information online, the Indian car buyer’s journey from a whim to final purchase has changed dramatically. More than 75 per cent of car buyers are researching online for reviews, comparative specifications, financial products, and used car markets before making a purchase.

The first edition of Consumer Querimetrix also explains how the traditional ‘funnel’ model is giving way to a more complex purchasing path where ‘initial consideration’ may not always guarantee sales. Although higher auto-related searches correspond to higher demand for cars, this does not hold true on a brand-wise basis.

Kotak Institutional Equities quantitative analyst and the architect of Consumer Querimetrix Saifullah Rais added, “In the absence of conventional rules, traditional decision-support systems are not very effective. They fall short on scalability and adaptability. Machine learning algorithms learn from data and do not rely on explicit rules, making them the most effective method of dealing with data explosion.”