I've heard a lot about mparticle over the last few months, and their recent fund raising effort brought them to my attention again. The product claims to collect all your data once, sending it to any analytics, marketing or data warehousing platform, essential for companies who want to make data-backed business decisions.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to Michael Katz about the product.
DZone: What is mparticle?
mParticle is a customer data platform built for mobile first companies. Our solution helps app developers automate the repeatable task of integrating multiple partners SDKs by collecting data once and then connecting to those partners’ API’s. With mParticle, both the marketing and engineering teams can move faster, and spend more time focusing on what they need to.
DZone: Could you give some background into how it was created?
mParticle is the second company that the co-founders worked together on, the first was interclick, an ad tech company, that we took public in 2009 before it was purchased by Yahoo in 2011. As we were leaving Yahoo, we saw the convergence of a few trends across mobile, data, and SaaS that drew close parallels to a number of trends that we saw at our last company. Our vision for mParticle has been the same as it was on Day 0, to provide apps with the data infrastructure that makes it easier for them to connect with the partners that help them run and grow their business.
DZone: What is the main advantage of mparticle?
The main advantage of mParticle is that it democratizes access to data across the organization which creates a cross-function impact. For engineers, it eliminates the highly redundant (and risky) process of implementing third-party SDKs. It also abstracts a lot of extraneous code to create a lighter and more stable app. For marketers, it allows them to have on-demand access to their data to connect to new and existing partners which ultimately improves speed and agility. For data scientists, it creates a single source of truth and a place where they can easily query their data and run complex analysis to drive critical business insight. For help desk and support, they can engage customers in real-time based on certain event triggers.
DZone: How does an app developer go about integrating mparticle?
Once accepted onto the platform, the integration process is straight forward. Developers can integrate manually or through a solution like CocoaPods, Maven, Gradle etc. We open sourced our SDK which lives on Github and has our integration docs readily available here if anyone wants to start looking at how mParticle works prior to working with us.
DZone: What APIs can book into mparticle?
Any events API where we can stream raw events data to that platform such as Google Analytics, Amplitude, Adobe Analytics. Also, any audience API where we can send anonymous user IDs such as Facebook Custom Audience API, Twitter Tailored Audience API, etc primarily for the purpose of re-engaging users outside of the app.
DZone: Could you highlight some success stories from developers who have used it?
Working with innovative companies like Airbnb, Spotify, Starwood and a bunch of others, there is no one size fits all approach to data but there is a great video case study on our site about some of the work we have done with SeatGeek. For developers, the primary measure of success is time saved and we have some really exciting proof points where we have been able to save clients thousands of man hours or the equivalent of 2-3 FTEs. For marketers, it's all about speed and agility – connecting to the latest tools so that no opportunity is missed and no money is left on the table.
DZone: What's coming down the line for you during 2016?
The vision stays the same, the tactics continue to evolve as the market matures and the team grows. Overall, we’re focused on building out our marketplace to make it as easy as possible to connect apps and app services. We have a number of key hires to make, and an aggressive roadmap that we’re pursuing. We are really close to cracking the code on a couple of things that I can't say much about yet but would completely change the way apps think about all this stuff.