ActiveProspect is all about helping customers automate their online lead generation process – the question was, how could they reliably demonstrate that value? They needed an analytics solution that could be easily integrated into their applications, and they didn’t have a lot of time or spare resources. Luckily, Keen was there to take the lead.
Keen took what would have taken ActiveProspect over a year to develop (their words, not ours!) and got things up and running within 2 weeks, working closely with the AP team to build in some new features along the way.
We asked Alex Wolfe, Software Architect at ActiveProspect, to tell us a little more about how Keen was able to help:
What were you originally looking to do with analytics?
We had our own in-house analytics, but we definitely felt it was time for a replacement. For one, we’ve frequently struggled to make sure the analytics we provided were correct (bugs, replication problems, missing data we’d have to go back and patch, etc.). We also had a lot of customer requests for the ability to query data in different ways. We have all sorts of customers with all kinds of different data, and I guess it felt like we were doing more statistics than analytics – we were keeping all these counts, but not analyzing them as much as we could. We could tell them lots of things, but we still felt fixed in what we could offer. So, we wanted to be able to do more and give end-users the ability to learn more.
Why did you choose Keen?
In addition to our main concerns – reliability, the ability to perform ad hoc queries – being developers, we also wanted a solution that was going to be developer-oriented: documented APIs, transparent pricing, the ability to get up and running quickly, etc.
We found an enterprise solution that seemed okay, but what followed was a pretty lousy experience. It felt like working with a used car salesman: They’d say yes to everything we asked for, but then wouldn’t actually do anything. Lots of price changes. They wanted to start billing before we were even up on a platform. Stuff like that.
So, we were definitely feeling a little burned when we decided to give Keen a shot, but you guys looked pretty sweet, and we could get up and running quickly and evaluate the service at a low cost. And fortunately, it ended up being a really good match.
How was the process of getting started with Keen?
It was pretty money getting set up – you guys made it super easy. The docs were great, the explorer was great, it was easy to poke around and try out different things. I felt like I was talking directly to the developers who were working on the product on your end. Any time you can ask questions or give feedback directly to the developers, it’s the best possible solution – sometimes that’s five layers removed.
What is your favorite thing about Keen?
Keen solves a problem we’ve long had trouble with, a problem that no one here has time to work on, and a problem that nobody here has expertise with. Keen allows us to have analytics, a part of our app that’s critical for us, but we don’t have to worry about it, and we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to get it.
How does Keen help you on a day-to-day basis?
That’s an easy one – Keen helps because I don’t have to mess with it. We can let it run and not have to futz with this or worry about that or oh my gosh what’s wrong with it. Once Keen was integrated, we haven’t heard anything bad about it since. And now that it’s there, the fact that it’s so easy to push events and query on those events means we can do a ton of stuff that wouldn’t have been possible before.
For instance, it’s good for testing – if we want to collect some data on a new feature for before we really send it live, we can do it with just a few lines of code on our end. Can’t get easier than that.
It’s also been useful for marketing. We recently went to a tradeshow, and we were looking for some aggregate numbers on how widely our apps are used, and it was a simple matter of going into the explorer to see what could we find in there that was interesting. That’s going to be the thing for customers that we weren’t able to provide before, the ability to play around and find out what pops up that’s interesting.
In short, it’s working out exactly how we wanted it to. Better, even.
When would you recommend Keen?
Oh, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone – I think it’s too much of a competitive advantage. Seriously, though, I think Keen is great for anyone dealing with a decent amount of data who wants analytics but doesn’t want to build it in-house.