IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Transforming Big Data into Actionable Information with CloudmeterApril 18, 2013 No Comments
In the below interview, Mike Dickey, founder of Cloudmeter, outlines ways in which organizations today can efficiently transform large amounts of data into actionable information, and accentuates the value of leveraging data to gain better insight into the end user experience.
- Q. How do you see cloud computing, social media, and big data transforming the way people view business intelligence today?
A. Cloud computing, social media, and big data all allow companies to gain a much better insight into their users’ actions and needs. This understanding can in turn be used to deliver more targeted offerings and user experiences.
- Q. In your opinion, why do so many companies not realize the valuable data that hides within their networks?
A. Although there is no larger source of business and IT data than the goldmine that’s available in network traffic, companies haven’t leveraged that data because up until now it hasn’t been easy to access it.
- Q. What is the value of leveraging data to gain better insight into the end user experience?
A. Detailed data about the user’s experience and actions can make a big difference in companies’ ability to provide positive experiences and in return improve conversion and ability to meet their business goals.
A customer example: one of Cloudmeter’s customers, an ecommerce site, uses Cloudmeter Stream to understand the true cart path of each individual on its site. Gaining full visibility into each step of every user session provides this customer with valuable insight into their actual cart process. The customer found out that only 60 percent of people that make a purchase on its site went through the steps in the planned order. The other 40 percent were jumping back and forth between steps. That visibility made a huge difference for the customer and allowed it to create logical navigation paths to make the customer experience a pleasant and productive one.
- Q. What are the biggest data management challenges your clients are bringing to the table, and how is Cloudmeter working to overcome these challenges?
A. The main challenge our customers bring to the table is making sure the data fed into their analytics and BI solutions is as complete and as meaningful as possible. In order to achieve it, customers need to make sure:
- They capture everything
- They process that massive amount of data in real time and feed their analytics solution with what’s important
- There is a Catch-22 with today’s solutions: being intrusive, the more data they capture, the more they impact application performance and production systems. Moreover, most solutions require R&D resources and may take a long time to implement.
Cloudmeter Stream, combines the best-of-breed non-intrusive data capture technology with a real-time event processing engine. By doing so, it:
- Turns the chaos of network traffic into a goldmine of structured real-time information that other big data tools can easily digest
- Doesn’t just “capture everything” – too much data is not a good thing!
- Enables customers to pinpoint exactly what they want
- Process and apply business rules to the traffic while capturing it, enabling customers to contextualize the data and immediately turn it into something meaningful
- All this happens in real-time before anything gets stored to disk
- Q. How do Cloudmeter’s data capture and processing and customer experience products work to help customers gain vital user activity information and improve their end-users’ experiences?
A. Both products focus on providing information critical for those in charge of customer experience, from transactions and business transactions’ performance through application errors, to information about the customers’ activity on site. We We call this group MarkOps (Marketing & Operations). Our products help these teams truly understand their customers’ experience and action needed to improve it.
- Q. Can you please tell us a little about your technology and how it’s helping companies maximize the value of the massive amounts of information available within their network traffic?
A. Cloudmeter Stream is designed to help companies leverage the highly valuable information that flows through their networks. It includes the industry’s first ultra-light passive capture agent that can be installed directly on customers’ servers and does not require connecting to network infrastructure. Cloudmeter Stream includes a built-in event processing technology that allows users to filter, transform and enrich their data in real time before feeding it into their preferred Big Data and analytics solutions. The end result is better analytics and insight and improved users’ experience.
Cloudmeter Insight presents the most advanced end user management SaaS solution and is the first product to include visual session replay for exceptionally detailed problem analysis. Because it’s a SaaS-based solution, the technology is very simple to implement and has very low TCO. Cloudmeter Insight uses the same ultra-light agent as Cloudmeter Stream. No hardware is required, it is public and private cloud friendly, and it introduces no risk to customers’ production systems
- Q. How will your upcoming release of Cloudmeter Stream and an early access program for Cloudmeter Insight work to provide a simple yet powerful way for companies to unlock the ‘information goldmine’ within their networks?
A. Both products focus on providing information important for those in charge of customers’ experience. They both use the same breakthrough data capture technology. The first ultra-light passive capture agent that can be installed directly on customers’ servers and does not require connecting to network infrastructure.
These two solutions complement each other. Cloudmeter Stream is focused on capturing, processing, and making the highest quality data available for analytics solutions, while Cloudmeter Insight offers visibility into end users’ experience and ability to diagnose issues. Together, customers get a 360-degree view of their customers’ experience. This fosters collaboration between the different groups in charge of that experience.
- Q. What major trends do you foresee emerging within cloud, BI, and data analytics over the next five years?
A. The need to understand users’ experience and actions will continue to grow rapidly. We foresee an increase in the demand for quality data. We expect more and more customers to develop their own in-house big data repository in a move to “own” their data. We also expect to see an increased demand for real-time information.
All of the above, in conjunction with advances in analytics, will allow customers to provide a personalized, targeted, and improved user experience.
Mike Dickey, founder and CEO of Cloudmeter
As a pioneer in the field of big data capture and analytics, Michael brings over 15 years of expertise leveraging the massive amounts of data that flows through companies’ networks, to his vision and role as CEO of Cloudmeter. As previous founder and CEO of BeatBox Technologies (formerly known as ClickCadence), Michael created the market-leading network appliance for monitoring enterprise web applications. BeatBox combined network packet-sniffing with TCP reassembly, SSL decryption, real-time sessionizing, and rules-based data processing to provide website administrators with more detailed pictures of visitor interactions. Michael sold BeatBox to Mercury Interactive in 2005, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP Software) in 2006. BeatBox is now part of HP’s Real User Monitor (RUM) product.
Prior to BeatBox, Michael worked as CTO of Innovative Resource Group (IRG), a subsidiary of iGate Corporation that acquired his first technology company, Terminus System Designs (TSD). In the mid 1990′s, TSD developed Entropy, an object-relational database for the web that made it easy to build databases and integrate them with websites using a simple, tag-based markup language. Mike studied Physics, Computer Science, and Business at Carnegie Mellon University.CLOUD DATA, DATA and ANALYTICS , Fresh Ink