Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Custom Analytics


With web businesses and sites becoming more complex and more customized, simple analytics solutions like Google Analytics and Site Catalyst no longer apply very well to help business in this space. Business models no longer translate 100% to ecommerce. There are a lot of “whatever”-as-a-service that provide users with different plans and have all sorts of different business models. One example of this is a site like http://virb.com. They are a Web Site-as-a-Service where users can build their own sites that include selling digital and physical goods. Virb lets gives its user’s their own analytics for their site. They cannot simple rely on Google Analytics and then let users have access to it for their own analytics. There are two different use cases here; Virb themselves want analytics and they also want to provide their users with analytics. A lot of online business don’t have all their data in one place and are spread through out many different sites and services. Plugging in some javascript on your page will not let you consolidate all of your data for analytics purposes. Because of these types of scenarios there has been a rise of custom analytics. There are several different services that provide the tools to customize your own analytics.

Keen.io
(https://keen.io/)                            



Keen.io is a backend-as-a-service that supplies analytics data through an API. This allows the developers of your site to create custom dashboard with your custom data. Their API works in 5 different platforms including native mobile platforms.










Because Google is such a big player in this space they have also provided an API which allows creating custom visualizations using custom data. They also provide these tools for their App Engine customers.




BitDeli



BitDeli is really cool because it almost provides the best of both worlds. While the previous sites give you an API only type approach to building these custom analytics, BitDeli provides an API in three different technologies and also a dashboard GUI that allows you to also create and extend your analytics dashboard. They build some of the data for your which it reads from different sources and also lets you then extend that using their API.

MixPanel



MixPanel is a little different than the rest. They are a lot more like a conventional analytics tool but they offered some interesting features that got them an honorable mention on this post. Their website provides you with a SQL like feature that lets you create your own custom queries on your data which can be collaborated between all the users on the site. They also provide about 7 different API to allow you to track your data.

In conclusion if you want to have a very customized analytics strategy, where you are pulling in data from all sorts of sources from off-site warehouses to customer sent emails, you have several different solutions and tactics to use. These tools allow you to have more flexibility and complete control of what data you want to see. If you have an in-house development team you can change reports without having to wait for a third party service.

References