Category Archives: Data Accessibility

The High Cost of Building Your Own Analytics

Anyone starting a business has done their fair share of research and analysis. You researched your chosen market, ran financial projections, and figured out startup costs. This proves you’re an analytical guru, right?

That’s why it’s tempting to think you can continue to rely on spreadsheets to manage on-going analysis. Although this isn’t the “wrong” approach initially, as businesses grow, it gets harder and harder and harder to manage your analytics needs. Your time becomes more valuable and can’t be wasted trawling through ever more complex spreadsheets.

You can build a system in-house, but the time and money this takes aren’t worth the effort. You’ve got a SaaS billing system because you don’t want to—and can’t—process payments yourself, correct? The same thinking applies to analytics.

Here’s why you should buy rather than build when it comes to analytics.

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Let's Build Better Products by Spenser Skates, CEO and Co-founder of Amplitude

Let’s Build Better Products

Last week, we announced Amplitude 2.0 — the next generation of our product analytics platform. Today, I’m sharing the story behind 2.0: the industry shift in how companies are building products, how our users shaped the way we rebuilt Amplitude, and our vision for the future of products.

Back in March of 1995, Microsoft released a product called Microsoft Bob. Designed with computer novices in mind, Bob was supposed to make it easier for the average person to use a PC. The interface was styled as a virtual home where you navigated between rooms to access different programs, all with the aid of an animated dog as your guide (whose later reincarnation showed up in Microsoft Office as our old friend, Clippy).

Screenshot of the Microsoft Bob interface, complete with your friendly guide Rover.

Not really sure where the “Door to Public Mouse Hole” leads… Image source.

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Give Me Data or Give Me Death: Takeaways from Growth Clinic

Last week we hosted Growth Clinic: Got Data?. This was our third Growth Clinic, where we bring in growth and analytics professionals to share their insights on achieving sustainable growth.

Back in March, we focused on retention, the most critical metric that underlies growth today. This time we looked at the bigger picture, a problem that many individuals face: the inability to access data they need. When individuals across teams are blocked from accessing and analyzing data, either due to the unusability of their analytics platform or being bottlenecked by their data team,  it can take days to weeks to get insights about their users. This is wastes precious time that  could be used to iterate and improve upon the product.

At Growth Clinic: Got Data? over 150 people joined Josh Curry of MindBody, Hooked author and entrepreneur Nir Eyal, Noah Jessop of Publishers Clearing House, and Aron Clymer of Popsugar to learn why data accessibility is so important to organizations. In addition, Amplitude Heads of Product and Design, Justin Bauer and Winnie Wong, shared how we at Amplitude are making bold strides towards making analytics more usable for all.

Couldn’t make it to Growth Clinic: Got Data? Here are a few key takeaways from the event. For more details, be sure to watch the full videos linked below!

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How the Fastest Growing Game In the App Store Retains Its Users

Building a data-driven culture isn’t easy. You need goals, metrics to track your progress, and an understanding of just what constitutes success. An obsession with data has to permeate every level of your organization and guide you in everything you do.

We love talking to our customers about how they’ve done it, and we especially love when we can share their insights with you. This past May, Amplitude Head of Product Justin Bauer spoke with Stefanía Bjarney Ólafsdóttir, Head of Data at Icelandic mobile gaming startup QuizUp.

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They talked about the importance of data, how and why QuizUp wound up using Amplitude, and what challenges they’ve faced on the way to becoming a truly data-driven organization. Check out the full webinar here, or keep reading to learn more!

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Thinking about building your own analytics? Don’t.

One big decision in the life of any company, especially tech companies who have really great engineering teams, is whether they should buy an analytics solution or build it themselves. In some cases the fervor to build it all yourself seems almost religious — but there are actually many upsides to using a third-party analytics provider for your infrastructure.

Although it may not seem like a big deal, especially early on, the “build or buy” decision has an enormous impact on your company’s productivity and speed, and ultimately on your ability to drive growth.

I can understand the appeal of building your own analytics solution — it will be perfectly customized to fit your needs, and you’ll have complete control over how your data is handled. Some tech giants like Airbnb, Zynga, and Facebook have built impressive data infrastructures, so why shouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, many companies overlook the true costs of building it themselves (and I’m not just talking dollars). If you’re considering or are in the process of building out your own analytics, make sure you think about the ways this could potentially hurt your company.

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