How Switchfly benefits from GoodData cloud analytics

More than 100 companies and tech startups have embedded the business intelligence engine into their own platforms or services.

Where is it written that small or midsize businesses shouldn't have access to great business intelligence services?

Fast-growing cloud service provider GoodData is putting that myth to the test, signing up both big established businesses seeking better data analytics capabilities and startups that are trying to get a leg up on their competition with better insight into their own customers.

When I checked its Web site for statistics to write up this post, there were more than 20,000 companies using GoodData services, including the likes of Twitter, Box, Marketo, HootSuite and ZenDesk. Its pickup in 2013 was impressive: more than 10,000 users in its third quarter alone.

One of GoodData's SMB clients is Switchfly, a midsize technology company with about 130 employees that provides a white-label travel commerce and loyalty redemption platform for multiple industries. GoodData's business intelligence engine is embedded within the Switchfly platform, where it helps the company automate marketing campaigns and other processes on behalf of its own clients, said Dario Ambrosini, chief marketing officer for Switchfly.

Switchfly's site facilitates the redemption of more than 30 billion loyalty points annually and generates more than $1 billion in travel commerce. It is, in essence, the behind-the-scenes partner that powers technology for different travel commerce and awards programs. 

"We capture data at every point of an e-commerce purchase path," Ambrosini said. "Where the person came from, the referring site, all the way through tracking the browser page you took to book someone, to where people fell off."

Prior to GoodData, Switchfly's relatively modest data scientist team had to perform data analysis manually. Because of its GoodData relationship, it's now possible to adjust and optimize campaigns for its clients in 12 to 24 hours, Ambrosini said. 

GoodData doesn't publish its pricing publicly, but for Switchfly, the service was "a fast, easy and low cost" way to handle its need for business intelligence, Ambrosini said. (In the past, the service started at $500 per month, according to several historical stories about the service.) Then again, data is pretty much at the heart of Switchfly's business model.

In November 2013, GoodData reinforced its focus on technology startups and midsize companies with the release of four new apps for the Salesforce AppExchange: Marketing Demand Analytics, Sales Analytics, Service Analytics, and Chatter Analytics. You can trial the Sales analystics tool for free for up to 30 days.

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(Editor's Note: This article was updated Jan. 17 to clarify the process by which Switchfly's plaform works.)