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Adobe Analytics Update Offers Real-Time Analysis

Upgrade to Adobe Analytics adds data visualization and mobile features, helps analysts identify anomalies and act upon rapidly changing data more efficiently.

Adobe has released a major update of its Adobe Analytics software, which adds advanced analytics capabilities such as new anomaly detection as well as improved real-time reporting capabilities, data visualizations, mobile app insights and video metrics.

A major component of the company's Adobe Marketing Cloud solution, the new release is designed to help marketers and analytics understand and act upon data much faster, JD Nyland, director of product management for Adobe Analytics, told InformationWeek in a phone interview.

One of Adobe Analytics' key new features is anomaly detection, which provides automated tools to locate data points that fall outside of historic norms. It's designed to help data scientists and business analysts uncover insights they might otherwise miss among the ever-increasing volume and variety of big data.

[ Apache's Hadoop upgrade improves SQL-style querying. Read more at Hadoop 2.0 Goes GA: New Workloads Await. ]

"In a previous version, an analyst would have run individual reports on each of these metrics to see what's trending," said Nyland. "And if you're capturing hundreds of metrics on your page, this might take hours or days, so things would go unnoticed."

Users can access anomaly detection via the Adobe Marketing Cloud interface, or from the new Adobe Analytics iOS app for mobile reporting. Organizations can also use open APIs to integrate the feature into custom marketing dashboards. "We view this capability as greatly simplifying the analysis of data, as we surface trends and eliminate the need for lots of manpower to find anomalies," said Nyland.

Adobe Analytics also adds enhanced real-time reporting tools to help businesses get immediate feedback to their online campaigns, content or products. Users can refresh their data as often as every five seconds. "What we've done is surface high-granularity data within seconds of collection, and that's available in dozens of metrics and events," Nyland said. "We allow our customers to access that via a public-facing API. We actually launched the API back in May, so we have customers using this today."

Organizations can also see fast-moving items to help them gain insight into why specific trends might be occurring. "We allow you to see not only what's most popular, but also [what's] gaining," said Nyland. "If you can see the gainers, you know if your campaign is performing the way you want it to."

The new version also adds a full-screen or TV mode, which is designed to help users gain a more comprehensive view of the multiple charts, graphs, and other visualizations displayed by Adobe Analytics. "We have customers today who are publishers, and they have it in their newsrooms," said Nyland. "They're seeing the top trending articles, and where visitors are coming from … and they're able to make decisions on how they want to optimize their content."

Adobe Analytics' new mobile capabilities are designed to take advantage of the explosive growth in the mobile app market. "We want our customers to see not only how users engage with their mobile apps, but also how those apps are performing," said Nyland. "You can see not only how many people installed an app, but also how many (made) purchases."

The mobile analytics market is growing increasingly competitive with large, well-funded players. Facebook, for instance, reportedly plans to buy Tel Aviv-based Onavo, a mobile analytics company that builds data compression software and provides analytics services for smartphones.

The key to succeeding in mobile analytics, Nyland said, is to provide businesses with a complete lifecycle perspective on how people use their apps and how to improve user engagement, and do this in real time.

The big data market is not just about technologies and platforms -- it's about creating new opportunities and solving problems. The Big Data Conference provides three days of comprehensive content for business and technology professionals seeking to capitalize on the boom in data volume, variety and velocity. The Big Data Conference happens in Chicago, Oct. 22-23.

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