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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heatmaps and Big Data

At Webtrends, we've been having a blast getting our latest big data environment configured, tested and rolled out over the last several months.  This newest installment, supporting our killer new Heatmaps functionality, is based on Hadoop (and HBase and Hive).

We've been leveraging massive SQL and NoSQL big data infrastructures for years, but it's particularly fun to add the distributed mapreduce functionality of Hadoop into the mix to give us new slices of the data.  This new platform is similar to how our Reinvigorate environment is configured, but built for many times the volume of traffic.

And I'm really happy with our approach rolling it out.  We've created an infrastructure to support our incredible volume of data, and we've chosen to start with a controlled use case, and incrementally add data and functionality, so as to prove the scale.  As the industry is learning, it's relatively easy to build an analytics solution based on Hadoop, but it's extremely difficult to do it at scale, securely, with solid operational processes behind it.

One of the ways we're helping to ensure the success of this rollout is by thoughtfully thinking of the incoming data.  The data required to support Heatmaps is well defined and contained to click events captured through our new v10.2 async javascript tag.  This provides us with a use case that is contained, relatively straight-forward to test, and yet provides really high value for Marketing folks and web developers to make quality decisions when optimizing their websites (or Facebook Apps, etc.).

Our amazing UX team had some fun with the Heatmaps data, and even added in a couple of surprises that were very smart, and relatively easy to implement.  My favorite is the date compare transition, where the Heatmap overlay smoothly transitions from one time range to another.  So cleverly done!

The best part of all of this?  This is only the beginning of what we believe to be a huge opportunity to create very compelling solutions around the volumes of data we collect and analyze for our customers.  I think they are going to like what they see in the coming months/years from Webtrends.

1 comment:

  1. An exciting time to be in this industry, Eric!



webtrends reinvigorate analytics