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Big Data Journal: Article

Apigee Mixes Big Data & Broad Data Analytics

It's supposed to leverage Big Data in a new way so a computer can draw sophisticated conclusions from weak unstructured data

Big Data analytics doesn't go far enough according to Anant Jhingran, who was the brains behind IBM's cunningly clever Watson computer as CTO of IBM's lab in Silicon Valley.

"The information an enterprise typically collects - point of sales, procurement, even web site data - is not enough anymore," he says. "In the new world of apps and APIs, the real value of data - the interaction with customers - has moved one or two tiers away from the enterprise and the more you know about the data in your app ecosystem, your ‘broad' data, the better you'll understand your business."

This thinking has been distilled in Apigee Insights, the latest product from the increasingly promising Apigee, where Jhingran is now product chief.

Apigee Insights is supposed to leverage Big Data in a new way so a computer can draw sophisticated conclusions from weak unstructured data and produce business insights beyond what is currently possible.

Apigee, which has already got a signature API platform, thinks Big Data analytics has to focus more on "broad data" defined as all the information that can be culled from noisy APIs, apps, social networks and the mobile ecosystem. It says Insights can do it in context using other data sources.

It basically connects the structured, unstructured and semi-structured dots and forms a readable picture.

Users are supposed to be able to get full visibility into customer, developer and partner behavior by integrating and analyzing all points of customer interaction - from both inside and outside the enterprise.

"In the app economy, where business is often conducted through mobile and social channels, organizations no longer own - much less control - all the data they need to make accurate business decisions," said Apigee CEO Chet Kapoor. "Every enterprise needs to rethink their data platform for this new world. Those that can capture, add context and analyze new broad data sources outside of the enterprise will succeed."

That's what Insights together with Apigee's flagship API platform are supposed to do. It calls APIs "the nervous system of the app economy," "dictating how we get information, shop and communicate with people - and even our cars."

As a for instance, Apigee says that "when a company exposes its services through an open API, important customer interactions can happen in third-party apps across millions of mobile devices. Traditional data solutions are not designed for this dynamic new world, where the data can change continuously in volume, shape and size - creating new requirements for accurate analytics."

Insights is a highly distributed platform that stitches together data from a customer's API programs with data from internal systems and online data sources. It delivers in-depth analysis and performance with a multi-channel data aggregator, distributed processing engine, intelligent data storage, analytic accelerators and expert services. It can deal with the changing number, volume, size and sources of app economy data, and it's supposed to give customers a near real-time feedback loop to test, experiment and rollout changes immediately. Enterprises can gain insights through the entire app value chain or focus specifically on the context of the app user, app developer or information analytics.

The widgetry is supposed to be designed specifically for the big, continuously changing and less structured broad data in the app economy. It can work as both a standalone analytics solution or a complement to existing legacy data warehousing or ETL systems.

There's an e-book explaining Insights and how's it's most operational to people who can mix strong signals from internal data with the weak, ephemeral signals from the contextual data at http://pages.apigee.com/apigee-insights-ebook.html.

It's available for an introductory price of $5,000 a month. It comes with "Analytic Accelerators" that include pre-defined data models and sample user interfaces to help customers quickly gain insights into their developer adoption, customer behavior and data usage.

The company, founded in 2004, used the opportunity created by the Insights launch to do some bragging about how it's been growing at 200% year-over-year and about how 30% of its new customers last year were Fortune 500s or Global 500s including Walgreens, Bechtel and eBay. Shucks, 20% of the Fortune 100 and six of the top 12 US retailers use Apigee.

It's got mobile and supports Software Defined Networking and raised $72 million in venture capital from Focus Ventures, Bay Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, SAP Ventures and Third Point Ventures.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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