TINT delivers user-facing metrics faster with Keen

With so much marketing noise today, consumers are turning to real people they trust in favor of traditional ads. Some of the most iconic brands in the world like Coca-Cola, Nike, Krispy Kreme, Marriott, Verizon, Loews Hotels, Stanford University, and Nestle use TINT (Filestack’s UGC platform) to generate greater audience engagement and sales conversion by incorporating their authentic user content into the heart of their marketing.

Collecting impactful UGC (user generated content) and managing that library of content in one place requires an engine that delivers content at scale. TINT uses Keen to provide user-facing metrics for their customers. Monitoring UGC engagement and performance drives a better understanding for brands of what content resonates with their audience.

TINT Dashboard

When TINT began building their platform they needed to make analytics transparent to their users, and provide access in a timely fashion. Starting with MySQL they quickly found the amount of events that they were sending were unmanageable. Next, they tried DynamoDB, but ran into a roadblock when attempting to do time series analysis. Both approaches took resources away from other features and products they were building.

“When we finally discovered Keen it was simple, had a rubygem, we could easily integrate it and do it fast”, says Rohith Pottabathni, Senior Software Engineer at Filestack. “We thought, ‘What’s the fastest easiest way to get going?’, and Keen was the path of least resistance. It helped us get to a solution to providing analytics without having to write ourselves, and a lot quicker.”

Technical implementation of Keen with TINT

“The implementation was pretty straightforward”, continues Rohith. “Keen’s Ruby gem library made accessing end points a lot easier, and we didn’t have to write them, just access. We ended up writing a wrapper around it to wrap the calls, because we make them in a few places. When we first started using Keen, there was no dashboard or query explorer, and when that came out we found it useful to prototype queries directly in the browser instead of having to write and see if it would work.”

Keen helped us get to a solution to providing analytics without having to write ourselves, and a lot quicker.

There are 3 major metrics that TINT customers like to see:

  1. Number of visitors - which reports how many people have seen their content.
  2. Number of clicks - or times people interacted with content. Every tile collects click events when interactions occur.
  3. Number of scrolldowns - another metric that demonstrates interaction with specific content.

All of these events are recorded in Keen.

“We track things like visitors and click-throughs on posts, scroll events, and other metrics over time. We also need total counts. After awhile, we began having problems with queries becoming slow. Working with Keen we found that cached queries helped a lot and we haven’t had to touch it for some time. We also added caching on our end. Honestly, we haven’t really touched some of those calls in the last few years because it just continues to work. This speaks to how Keen has kept the API solid and it’s nice not to have to worry about that.”

“Overall, Keen has allowed us to focus on our other core components (because analytics is a core product), and a better experience for our customers. It allows us to focus on our infrastructure and the things that matter to our customers and not worry about metrics. We let Keen focus on capture aggregation and displaying the data we need for our customers.”

Demonstrating ROI

“Marketers want to see ROI and how the tools they are using generate impact. Without Keen, we wouldn’t have an analytics product today or if we did a lot of the metrics we have today wouldn’t exist.” said Rohith.

“Anyone building a user-facing analytics product should use Keen. Doing this in-house is a lot of work if you think about the cost it takes to build internally and the percentage that represents, what we pay Keen is much cheaper. Maintenance, scaling infrastructure, the increases over time, and hiring a dev to build and maintain this stuff is just not worth the cost. The other benefit that a lot of companies tend to forget about is that Keen is continually innovating the product in ways that we can’t. And they continue to deliver more cool things to us that we hadn’t thought of that we can ultimately leverage for our customers.”

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