The term “big data A/B testing” is almost guaranteed to induce a throbbing sensation in the temples of the average product manager. Vitally necessary but complicated and tedious, most product managers will go running for the nearest engineer or IT administrator for help. But a new product from Palo-Alto-based startup Amiato delivers sophisticated A/B testing analysis on a big data scale for medium-sized enterprises which may have very lean IT and engineering support.
Bridging a gap in the data analysis market
Amiato’s offering requires little in the way of IT expertise; a passing acquaintance with SQL – which many product managers already have – is all it takes. It’s cleverly bridging a gap in the big data analysis market: tools like Google Analytics, Optimizely and Mixpanel provide real-time testing feedback but, user-friendly though they are, they don’t let users ask many questions. Anyone who wants to dig deeper and discover the “why” of what’s happening on, say, their website had better have good technical team on hand. Sophisticated tools like Google BigQuery, Splunk and Cloudera’s Impala can do this kind of thing, but they’re not for technical novices – IT admin needs to work on the data logs to get them into the right format before they’re loaded.
That’s time-consuming and intimidating for mid-level firms with scant engineering resources. But Amiato has come up with a near-ideal solution for these firms. Users can simply load JSON files or other types of semi-structured data into Amiato’s system without the need for any kind of prior technical “massaging.” Files can simply uploaded into an Amazon S3 bucket (it’ll even take a full data dump) and Amiato automatically works out the structure and then maps it straight onto a table.
A product manager’s dream?
Amiato co-founder Mehul Shah says that the product, which has just bagged $2 million in investment and is available to customers now for free testing, is targeted on product managers or advanced product managers in companies specializing in fields like online retailing or gaming.
As Shah put it, it’s for firms that have outgrown off-the-shelf tools but are “scared of figuring out how to put together a huge data team and work with huge pieces of infrastructure.” All in all, it looks like this development is going to make a lot of product managers happier folk — not to mention chief revenue officers.