CTO Mike Anderson Describes How Tealium Enables Real-Time Data Flow

 In Under the Hood

To keep up with evolving technology and customer behavior, it’s essential for companies to work with partners sharing similar long term approaches to address current and future challenges. Read below to learn about Tealium’s guiding product development beliefs that help ensure new products and features deliver significant value.

Part 3 of a 7-part Series. Read other parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

Matt Parisi, Interviewer: (cont’d from Interview Part 2) Core belief #2, “Companies must be able to gather and understand all available information in real-time. They must further be able to make decisions and take actions to influence CX in real time.”

That phrase gets thrown around a lot, “real time.” How does Tealium build in a way that enables “really real-time” data?

Mike Anderson, Tealium Co-founder and CTO: Real time has always been a standard for us, there just isn’t any other option. At this point, we’re more hard-pressed to even do anything batch. For us, “batch” is something that’s happening in real time, and we’re putting a 24-hour delay on it.

Tealium Live, Real-time Data FlowSo we do very much believe that real-time availability of data is key and real-time action is key. If there’s something that’s happening on my website or other touchpoints—I have a product that’s selling like crazy, or an article that’s gone viral, or reservation that’s being booked over and over, for example—I might have to look into that to ensure everything is happening the way I want….and it’s way more valuable to see that in real time even if a corresponding action isn’t being taken in real time.

We had a large retailer prospect (who became a customer) that was selling thousands of televisions in seconds because the product prices were wrong. They were alerted because of real-time software but weren’t getting real-time insights. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong in a 24-hour period. If it takes you even an hour you may have missed some key signals that went on right at the right time, but you couldn’t see.

Reaction time is key— if I just got paid and I’m going to buy something and I go to a website, I like their product, but I get distracted and I move on to something else, it’s very likely a lost opp. But if a brand can keep their attention or re-gain their attention quickly there’s an opportunity to convert them.

For example, our customer Ancestry.com who re-engages people signing up for their service who didn’t complete registration immediately. Previous to Tealium, it took them 48 hours before they could send that customer an email because of their other point solutions. So they would send the email out in 2 days, but their engagement rate wasn’t good, maybe 5% re-engagement from those people. When they came to Tealium, we took that 2-day delay and made it real time. As a result, we re-engaged customers the instant that they abandon or seem to lose interest in the ancestry sign-up. It was very cool, but the important thing was the ROI was 60% re-engagement. Cut something down from 48 hours to a matter of seconds and saw a large return.

MP: What enables that speed to happen?

MA: It’s not anything specific in the product other than the underlying architecture that we set out to build. The leadership on my engineering team is from WebSideStory, where we were disrupting the analytics industry.

When we stepped in, there was a company in the Pacific Northwest that collected data for a day, copied it over to another system and by day 3 analysts could look at reports. It was good for the time, but that was 20+ years ago. We looked at it and thought there should be a way that we can send the data and analyze it in the stream and build metrics and aggregate numbers and reports right there, in line as the data transactions came in.

We disrupted that industry by building real-time analytics. This is how we look at the world. Not about shoving data in a bucket and moving to another system – all these items are in a stream with each other. We take a packet of data, move it into another system to get analyzed in real time, then move it into another system.

End of Interview Part 3. Read other parts here: Part 1 | Part 2Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

This was part 3 of a 7-part interview with Tealium CTO, Mike Anderson, about how Tealium’s core beliefs guide product development. Please check back for future installments of this interview.

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