March 12, 2014
A while back, as we began to structure our thinking around what would go into the new release of our platform, we engaged in a series of conversations with our customers around where they were feeling the most pain — or sensing the greatest opportunity — from their big data environments.
We heard the same story over and over: customers were collecting data in Hadoop only to find that traditional BI tools and approaches weren’t getting them what they needed. The reason? Traditional BI is great with transactions, but starts to show its age when you ask it to correlate those transactions with intricate records of every customer interaction and massive volumes of machine-generated data.
This newer, more modern, data was raising new and unexpected questions for our customers, questions that traditional BI couldn’t answer. But it was clear that the ability to ask and answer those questions was moving to a front-and-center position among our customers’ priorities. New capabilities were rapidly becoming essential.
Today we launch Platfora 3.0, which adds three core capabilities to our platform specifically aimed at the challenges that these customers and others are facing, the challenges that arise in the era of modern data.
The first of these is Event Series Analytics, which enables you to consolidate all relevant events, behaviors, actions, and results into a single timeline — creating a unified narrative out of these disparate data points. Until recently, this kind of synthesis could be achieved only by data scientists in companies with large research organizations. Platfora 3.0 puts these capabilities into the hands of your business users, not programmers or scientists, providing flexible, open-ended exploration and immediate answers to questions about customer behavior.
The next core capability is Segmentation, which significantly expands the kinds of segments that you can identify and analyze. Platfora 3.0 enables your IT and business users to define segments based on any possible combination of attributes and behaviors. Your business can now focus on your customers, systems, and devices not just as members of static categories but as unique, dynamic entities defined by what they do — and how they change — over time.
The third capability is the Entity-Centric Data Catalog, which enables you to mash up any and all datasets around the entities important for your business. Platfora 3.0 automatically organizes raw data stored in Hadoop into a structure that your business users can understand, capturing events generated by such entities as customers or products, and allowing for rapid and flexible analysis of these entities.
Platfora 3.0 is the first platform to seamlessly blend such capabilities to enable Big Data Analytics. Let’s look at some examples of what this can mean for your business.
Managing multiple customer touchpoints is a complex and urgent task. Customer conversions (or other desired customer outcomes) are the lifeblood of your business; uncertainty as to which touchpoint, or which series of touchpoints, is leading to which outcome can be expensive. Platfora 3.0 enables true Omni-Channel Pathway Optimization. Platfora can reveal the hidden triggers and roadblocks that underlie the relationship between your many touchpoints and customer behavior. Armed with that perspective, you can optimize conversion rates, mitigate sales funnel drop-out, and lower conversion costs by focusing resources on the most effective channels.
Traditional BI solutions made their mark by offering a whole new level of understanding of transactional data, but they started to strain when asked to provide insight into customer behavior. Throw in the deluge of machine data that most businesses are now dealing with, along with the requirement that business users be able to analyze all three types of data together (and over time), and the need for a new approach becomes clear. To support these needs, Platfora 3.0 supports analysis of data provided by the Internet of Things. Whether you are managing a warehouse, deploying a fleet of vehicles, tracking utility usage, providing telemedicine services, or just trying to get a handle on exactly how, where, and when customers are using your product, one thing is certain: you can no longer settle for analysis only of data created by and for IT systems, not when vital data is emerging from the real world. Platfora 3.0 enables you to combine telemetry, sensor data, remote monitoring, and customer behavioral data into a unified view of your business that has never been available before.
So there you have it. The era of modern data has arrived. If you’re finding that your business is suddenly swarmed by interaction and machine data that you need to understand, and that you’re ready for a new and complete view of how (and when) all the pieces fit together — you’ll want to take a look at Platfora 3.0.