App.io is all about testing, selling, and marketing apps – but all of it starts with numbers, and they needed the right analytics backend to do that. Keen was there to help get them up and mobile in no time at all.
Keen gave App.io the support they needed to quickly create a dashboard that would help not just add value to the product, but also vividly demonstrate it to customers.
We asked Ed Dowling, CEO & Co-Founder of App.io, to tell us a little more about how Keen was able to help:
What were you originally looking to do with analytics?
For a huge percentage of our customers, having analytics is the whole point of what we do. It’s a numbers game – they need to know how they’re engaging users, and who they’re converting. They can’t judge how effective we are from a video or a screenshot.
So we always had a product where we knew analytics were gonna matter. And they couldn’t be one-directional analytics; we needed the ability to analyze the usage of any given app – how many instances, for how long, from where – and then give that information back to the developer. It had to be a two-way street.
Why did you start using Keen?
It seems like everyone else is all about having a pre-defined purpose – videos views, website views – and none of them catered to what we do. Keen was appealing, because we weren’t locked into any pre-defined system. We could collect what we needed, store everything we wanted, and go back and experiment whenever and however we liked, then give it our customers in the form they worked best for them.
Plus, we have a very wide infrastructure – multi-language, multi-service – and Keen allowed us to naturally and easily integrate into our various stacks, tie them all together through the API approach, and calculate across systems as one.
And, of course, trying to build what we needed ourselves would have taken so much time – hundreds of hours of engineering time. Outsourcing it to Keen has been great. It’s this huge part of our business, and we don’t even have to worry about it. i don’t even know how it works, but it’s awesome. Our team writes one line of code, and it just works, and we can keep focused on what we want to work on.
We were one of your first paying customers, and it’s just been a natural fit right from day one. We just felt like this was meant to be, that this is exactly the perfect product for us – really, it’s the only product that could have worked for us.
How was the process of getting started with Keen?
We really liked the try-before-you-buy experience. With things like this, it can’t just be a black box where you post it up and hope it works. And there can’t be delays; you want to know right away that it’s working – really, really working – and with Keen, it was. And it was so quick and so easy – really, really stupidly simple. It took me about an hour to put together an analytics dashboard.
What sort of metrics are you measuring with Keen?
As we grow and evolve as a company, we get a better and better understanding of what metrics we should be tracking, of how we should be measuring success. The great thing about Keen, though, is that not only can we track anything, we can go back and run new queries across our existing data if we think of something new. We don’t have to wait to gather new data – we can reanalyze what we have in a new light. It allows us to really start to focus in on what matters, and take fewer stabs in the dark.
Plus, as we learn more about the power of Keen, we learn more and more what it’s capable of. Honestly, it still feels like we’ve only scratched the surface of the value Keen offers. Over time, we’re only going to increase our reliance on Keen – and our customers’ reliance on App.io.
How does Keen help you on a day-to-day basis?
Well, most obviously, we use Keen with our customers, so they can measure and learn what they need to make their apps more enjoyable and more profitable. More than anything, Keen helps demonstrate the value of our app demos by giving customers tangible, useful data in return. We’ve built a huge part of our value prop on Keen.
With Keen, our customers can track anything: Aggregate time spent per session – by browser, location, app. How much visitors are spending, engaging, converting. It allows our customers to do A/B testing – to see the difference between new and old versions of their app – outside of Apple’s release schedule, so they can get feedback at any stage.
But, beyond that, we also use Keen for billing – we track thousands and thousands of customer sessions per day. Business development, too; we talk to customers and investors, showing them before and after metrics. This equivalent app has done this well. If they bring up a question we don’t have an answer to, we can use Keen to look into it with a couple of minutes.
And error tracking. Tracking error rates is often very difficult, but with Keen, we can track the whole infrastructure, watch the success rate as it moves through the funnel, and pinpoint where there might be issues. We use that all the time, to find bugs and prove that we did, in fact, resolve them.
Really, we use it for everything. It’s just always there, this Keen-IO–powered overlord.
When would you recommend Keen?
I’d recommend Keen to anyone whose success is judged by numbers. I know that sounds very vague, but that speaks to just how generally useful Keen is. If numbers are your judge, if that’s how you sell customers on value, you should be using Keen.