It's little surprise that customer 360 has consistently proven one of the most common big data analytics use cases. There is huge upside from understanding your customers as it's far more lucrative to cross-sell or upsell existing customers compared to prospecting for new ones for one basic reason: there are no customer acquisition costs.
But getting that picture has grown progressively more complex over the years as channels have multiplied and the window for retaining mindshare has become more of a real-time challenge. The web, clickstreams, and streaming have added their own share of complications for tracking customers compared to the good old days of CRM wall gardens, but the dominance of native mobile environments have compounded the matter.
Beyond keystrokes or clicks, mobile touch screens have added a wide range of distinct interactions that often required custom coding to access and track. Clickstream and web analytics are by now mature markets, with providers like Adobe Analytics dominating.
Heap Analytics co-founder Matin Movassate faced that issue while a product manager for Facebook Messenger. His frustration was that each time a new feature was added to Messenger, it took weeks before his team could analyze the data on how those features were (or were not) being used. That even assumes that the changes got pushed out to the installed base, which on mobile devices, is not always a given.
Heap Analytics was founded to provide a cloud-based analytics SaaS analytics service that prepackages the necessary integration to track every customer swipe, tap, and click through web and mobile devices. The four-year old company boasts roughly 6000 customers for its free and paid services.
It packages its own data lake and data warehouse on Amazon Redshift that collects and transforms raw web and mobile navigation data, and keeps the data immutable. You define the events to track, not by coding, but by actually performing those events in the web or mobile app. From there, you can visualize web and mobile activity of your customers and analyze where and when attrition is happening.
The secret sauce is what Heap terms a "control plane" where the customer builds materialized views where the schema and business definitions are enshrined. The key benefit of Heap's decoupled architecture is that those views are versioned and readily be changed without changing the underlying data store. That's key when introducing new features requiring the collection of new metrics.
The drawback of Heap's analytics service is that it operates as an analytic silo. Yes, you can treat the data store as a data warehouse and run SQL queries that can feed your BI tools, but now you can connect to data from other customer-focused applications with custom coding. Heap is introducing 15 new connectors to sources like Salesforce, Marketo, email, and payment services providers.
Of course, another hurdle for getting visibility to how your customers are interacting with your mobile app is that the data is often dirty. With nearly five years of anonymized data from a client base of nearly 6000 organizations, Heap is introducing new benchmarks to compare the integrity of your data vs. that from the rest of its installed base so you can answer the question: Was that swipe really a swipe?