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Supporting Leaders to EVOLVE
Category: Digital Analytics

How to Supercharge Your Growth with Event Analytics

February 24, 2016

Want to be an industry leader?

Your company performance is strong and your user base is increasing, but you aren’t satisfied and want to drive growth to the next level. You need scalable analytics to succeed.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many companies’ growth limited by the lack of raw data ownership in free (and even some paid) analytics platforms.

Business analysts must have raw data. It is critical to providing your company the answers it needs to stay competitive, grow, and innovate.

In the quest of owning your data, commercial enterprise analytics solutions are an option, but they can carry a hefty price tag.

What if we told you there is an affordable solution without compromise? You can run an enterprise, open source, event-level analytics platform using Snowplow and Amazon Web Services!

Meet Snowplow Analytics

Snowplow Analytics is a petabyte-scale, open source, event-level analytics platform capable of tracking every event while giving you full data ownership.

What are the benefits of Snowplow Analytics?

  • Full data ownership
  • Deeper and more valuable analysis (Unsampled, clickstream data)
  • Reprocess data anytime
  • Deep integration with your business model
  • Track anything!
  • Batched or real-time processing
  • Scale with your business needs
  • Query data with any BI tool such as Tableau, Spark and ElasticSearch
  • Open source, run it for free or in a managed service

Interested? Read on. Not quite ready? Read “Why you should own your web analytics data.”

Here’s How it Works

Snowplow How it Works with Amazon Web Services
Snowplow Analytics runs entirely in your Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. You can run it in real-time or batch mode. It leverages the AWS stack: S3, Elastic Map Reduce (Hadoop/Spark), Cloudfront, Elastic Load Balancer, Elastic Compute, Redshift and Kinesis to track, enrich and store event-level data.

Snowplow Architecture

Snowplow Architecture Diagram
Event-level data can be any event you want to track, from a pageview on a website to opening a refrigerator door.

Let’s dig into the Snowplow’s benefits.

Full Data Ownership

Snowplow Analytics runs entirely in your AWS account; this means you control the whole process, from tracking to storage, and have full ownership of the raw data. Data ownership is important because it gives you the ability to enrich and integrate with other sources, potentially increasing the value of the data.

Example: You run a B2B business with an Account Based Marketing centered approach. Through an integration with CRM data, you can develop behavioral segments, see the behavior of your most valuable customers on your website, and tailor marketing to your existing customer base to maximize their value and brand affinity.

Deeper and More Valuable Analysis

The full ownership of the raw, unsampled data lets you step outside the constrained analysis that popular analytics platforms provide (e.g. Google Analytics) and perform more sophisticated analysis on your data:

  • Enriching clickstream data with customer data
  • Product recommendation systems
  • Customer analytics (RFM & CLV, Cohorts, Segmentation)
  • Catalog analytics
  • Predictive analytics (scoring models, to identify the customers that are more likely to purchase)
  • Attribution modeling (Assess the importance of each digital channel to the business)

Reprocess Data Any Time

Very few platforms let you reprocess data.

Snowplow is one of the few analytics tools that enable you to reprocess data. If your business logic changes or your tracking wasn’t working properly, you can reprocess your data at any time to ensure and maintain data integrity over time, which is essential to deliver accurate and meaningful insights.

Example: Your campaign tagging lacks consistency preventing you from properly attributing credit to marketing campaigns. With Snowplow Analytics, you can reprocess data and correct the tagging.

Deep integration with your business model

Snowplow is an event-level analytics platform, but what would an event be without context?

Example: Your company is structured around two areas: software and hardware. If your KPIs are “revenue” and “number of downloads” you want to slice them according to your business model: software and hardware. With Snowplow Analytics, you are free to enrich events (pageviews, add to cart, purchases) with the context that matches your business model.

Track Anything

Snowplow Analytics can track pretty much any event.

With trackers written in Javascript, Objective-C, Android, Scala, Clojure, Python, Ruby, Erlang, GoLang, NodeJS, PHP, Unity, Java, Dotnet, Actionscript, Cpp, Lua, and Arduino. Just pick one and if there’s an event happening, Snowplow Analytics can track it.

Batched or Real-Time Processing

Snowplow Analytics uses a scheduled enrichment process using Amazon EMR (Elastic Map Reduce) to process all the data. You can run this process at your leisure or in real-time using Amazon Kinesis.

Example: Your mobile game company has millions of players. Through the integration of one of the trackers with your games, you can know how many players are playing each title, in real-time.

Scale with Your Business Needs

Because Snowplow Analytics relies on Amazon Web Services, it can scale with your business in seconds, from thousands to billions of events a day.

Query Data with Your Preferred Business Intelligence Tool

Your data is in your AWS account, stored and accessible via Redshift or S3. You can query it using Hadoop/Spark, Tableau, ElasticSearch, Splunk, R, Pandas, or your preferred business intelligence application. Start exploring your data and sharing insights across your organization in no time.

Open Source, and a Managed Service Option

Snowplow Analytics is open source, which means you don’t have any licensing costs. You can also opt for the managed service; you pay your AWS usage and a fee for management, independent of your company size or number of hits.

As Easy as It’s Ever Been

Snowplow is part of a new paradigm in enterprise big data analytics that is powering access to unsampled, clickstream data with unlimited potential to answer the questions that matter to your business and drive your bottom line. With the rise of cloud data visualization, complete data analytics democratization is inevitable. Building an affordable and powerful analytics stack is as easy as it has ever been.

Want to take Snowplow Analytics for a spin?

Snowplow Analytics Logo

Whether you are ready to embark on this journey on your own, or you need Snowplow consulting services from a business analytics company like Blast; please share your questions or comments with us. Let us know if you agree, disagree, or have a question about the Snowplow event analytics platform.

Joao Correia
About the Author

Joao Correia is the Director of Data Insights at Blast Analytics & Marketing. His mission is to improve business performance through data, actionable insights and thoughtful strategy.

Joao Correia has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.

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