GoodData Offers Business Analytics Business People Understand

The San Francisco company says business analytics software isn't being effectively used to provide value to line-of-business users and offers three ways to crunch big data.

GoodData, a venture-funded San Francisco company, is going to introduce at Dreamforce 2012 next week a trio of services officials claim gives businesses a clearer picture of what their data says about their business and their customers.

Roman Stanek, founder and CEO of GoodData, said business analytics-also called business intelligence (BI)-software is usually brought into a business by the IT department to crunch volumes of so-called big data to gain some business insight. But the results often aren't of much help to others in the company who could actually use the analysis.

"In only 20 percent of the cases does it actually deliver value, and that's why we say that the data warehouse is the place the data goes to die," Stanek said.

And that's why GoodData, at the user conference beginning Sept. 18 in San Francisco, is going to introduce its Big Data Monetization (BDM) suite of three cloud-delivered services, which the company calls "bashes"-modules that present analytics information in easy-to-view and -understand dashboards. The BDM suite will be available on Salesforce's AppExchange.

The first component of BDM is called GoodMarketing, which helps businesses measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, determine how many leads are needed to make sales goals and otherwise manage the marketing budget.

GoodSales allows sales teams to manage risk in the sales pipeline, analyze and share sales tactics that have been the most successful and alert sales teams to potential problems that could jeopardize the quarter.

The GoodSubscription module is specifically designed to manage businesses that sell a service on a subscription basis, such as a gym membership, a cell phone service and the like. It can track average revenue per user, customer churn and identify up-sell opportunities.

GoodData uses the Salesforce business model to explain its strategy, said Stanek, because typically line-of-business people, such as those in sales, subscribe to Salesforce services directly rather than through their IT department. Big data BI solutions, on the other hand, are sold to IT departments and, more than likely as an on-premise solution than through the cloud.

"I cannot go to a head of sales and talk about Hadoop and [big data]. I have to talk to them in their language," he said. "And in most cases they come back and say, 'We don't know what to measure.' And that's where IT and all the tools are not helpful."

The GoodData service also helps customers analyze the volumes of data about the business generated by social media, he said. The rise of social media as a marketing and public relations tool for businesses just adds to the mountain of unstructured data that they are accumulating.

Besides selling the BDM suite directly to business customers, GoodData also partners with other providers to build their own bashes that would be delivered through the GoodData service.

GoodData was founded in 2007 and has raised $55 million from various venture capital firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners and Fidelity Growth Partners.