Customer selects Cloudmeter to conduct Data Forensics

"Data forensics" helps a Cloudmeter customer offer significant value to customer campaigns. It selected Cloudmeter to help improve the company's analysis of customer online sessions and pass data to its business intelligence systems.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

I find it helpful to speak with people actually using a supplier's products or services. This time, Kate Bartkiewicz. She formally was with Skint, which used Cloudmeter. She's now with  Digitaria. She's going to explain why Skint selected tools from Cloudmeter.

Please introduce yourself and your organization.

My name is Kate Bartkiewicz and I'm a Senior Analyst with Digitaria, formally with Skint, a Cloudmeter customer.

What were you doing that required this type of technology?

As an analyst, I spend a lot of time on "data forensics," that is looking at the data and trying to rebuild the past. Clients often ask me to determine what went well or what went wrong on a page or campaign after the fact, and these investigations take a lot of time.

The highest ROI for data analysis comes from forward-looking strategies, such as leading experiments designed to optimize conversion and performance. I was looking for tools that made forensics easier, so I could spend more time on strategy and optimization.

What products did you consider before making a selection?

We were looking at a combination of products, including ClickTale, when I saw a webinar on Cloudmeter and started to understand its potential to service many of our data needs, including my forensics problem.

Why did you select this product?

Cloudmeter had the most potential to both meet our immediate needs and grow with us as our analysis became more sophisticated. In my mind, Cloudmeter has three critical components that set it apart.

  1. The robust reactors allow you to freely define variables without any onsite coding and capture these variables at the page, product or customer level. Once you understand how the platform works, the only thing limiting you is your own creativity.
  2. Cloudmeter includes a session replay system that allows you to search sessions by any of the variables you have created. Sessions can also be emailed throughout the organization, making it easy for others to understand and act on insightful information.
  3. Finally, Cloudmeter allows you to pass your data to your preferred platform, be it a web analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Site Catalyst or a business intelligence system. This means you can keep using your preferred tool and integrate web behavior data into your data warehouse.

What tangible benefit have you received through the use of this product?

The combination of the data reactor with the replay system is hugely powerful.

Imagine I have an eCommerce site focused on selling shoes, and like most online stores, I monitor daily conversion. I notice in the data that conversion dropped far below what we would expect for the day. Looking at an hourly trend, I see that it dropped off at 1 p.m. - at the same time, I know an update to several features was pushed to the site. In the past, this is where I would clear my evening.

Using Cloudmeter, I check all my custom conversion variables: the rate of views to a product detail page, the proportion of products being added to the cart from different areas of the site, and all my micro-cart conversions. I quickly see that there were no significant changes on cart additions, but that something seemed to go wrong for many customers on Cart Step 2, where they enter billing information.

This is where the replay session comes in. I can search for sessions on the impacted day, after 1 p.m. that made it to Cart Step 1 but did not make it to Cart Step 2. I take 10 minutes to watch five or six sessions, and immediately notice that the shipping address from Cart Step 1 is not carrying correctly to Cart Step 2. I email the sessions to developers (and customer service), briefly explaining the issue. In a few hours, the issue has been identified and communicated to the team, and I go back to working on how to optimize tomorrow’s conversion. 

What advice would you offer others.

When considering a new tool, don't be too blinded by immediate needs. No matter how great the benefits, integrating a new tool into your organization is work. Choose something that has the capability to grow with you. We chose Cloudmeter because it filled several immediate needs, but also because fit into our long-term plan of using more resources for strategy and optimization. We had to spend a little more time getting it configured than some other out-of-the-box solutions, but what we ended up with was much more powerful and much more cost-efficient over time.

Who is Cloudmeter?

Cloudmeter is a venture-funded start-up based in Mountain View, California that works with companies whose web presence is critical to their businesses, including customers such as Netflix, SAP, Saks Fifth Avenue and Skinit.

Cloudmeter focuses on collecting real-time network data, analyzing that data and transforming it into actionable information for IT and business users.

Cloudmeter's products, Cloudmeter Insight and Cloudmeter Stream, use ultra-light agents to passively mine big data streams generated by web applications without introducing risk or degrading performance.

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