Data Warehousing for the Indie Developer

If data is the fuel that feeds the fire for a mobile app developer's growth in today's environment, then indie developers must sometimes feel they are holding a pack of matches while larger, more established developers use blow torches.

It has become practically impossible to compete in this day and age without taking a data-driven approach to app growth and user acquisition. And we don't just mean analyzing how much you pay for each install. Proper growth requires a holistic approach that takes in data from the entire user lifecycle and then analyzes it in a way that makes it actionable for app marketers.

Unfortunately, this level of access and analysis requires a robust data warehousing infrastructure -- an infrastructure that large, resource-rich app developers can afford to build while small and mid-sized developers cannot due to time, money or man-power constraints.

This is why we built DataVault. Our mission with DataVault is to democratize data warehousing so that app developers of all sizes can gain direct access to user-level data in order to perform custom analyses -- all without having to build their own data infrastructure.

Why is it so important for indie developers to have a data warehousing solution? For one, it’s the only way they can gain a complete view of their app marketing campaigns and in-app activities. Only by tying together ad network data with attribution data and 3rd party analytics can developers truly get a sense of each user’s lifetime value and their return on ad spend so they can optimize app marketing campaigns.

Many indie developers have tried to tie together campaign data from their analytics, attribution and ad network partners using Excel spreadsheets, but (A) this is an extremely time-consuming and tedious task, (B) with so many fields to enter there will inevitably be mismatches that throw the whole spreadsheet out of whack, and (C) it only allows for extremely limited manipulation of the data itself for in-depth analyses.

With Tenjin’s DataVault, indie developers now have access to a data warehouse that is every bit as sophisticated as those used by the industry’s largest app developers. So now they have the ability to not only access all of their campaign and user-level data quickly and easily, but they can run queries directly against user level data to perform custom analyses for their specific KPIs.

For instance, say an app developer wants to pull the specific IDFAs of all users who spent more than $5 over the last six months and send them a special promotion. Or suppose they want to identify the unique IDFAs coming from a specific source who had the highest ROI, or to figure out the organic uplift on incentivized installs bought through a specific source. They can now do all of this and more, without having to build their own data infrastructure or spend hours playing around in Excel.

The initial promise of the App Store was that anyone could build great content, launch it for free, and immediately find millions of new customers. And as a result, there were examples galore of small, one- and two-person companies who became overnight successes. But as the mobile ecosystem evolved, the rich got richer and it became harder for independent studios to create hits, no matter how great their content was, because larger and more established studios could build the data warehousing tools that gave them a significant advantage when acquiring users or getting users to spend money.

Tenjin is trying to bring back the heyday of indie studios by giving them affordable access to a data infrastructure built to meet the needs of the best mobile marketers in the world. Because after all, innovation is at its best when the playing field is level and the barriers to innovation are low.

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