Likelihood to Recommend
Overall I like Aginity for what it has to offer right now. I also use SAS on a daily basis, and whenever I need to create scripts for flexible and repeatable automation processes, I go to SAS for its macro facilities. To me, Aginity works very well for quick data research, but other programs such as SAS are more suited for robust analysis involving complicated coding.
This tool is definitely made for organizations that go above and beyond simply capturing data on their online visitors for simple reporting. AudienceStream allows you to combine data from multiple sources and manipulate it to represent everything from hard facts about a visitor/customer (# of times ordered, device used, time on site, etc) to more intangible concepts (visitor is a fan of the company, visitor is a frugal shopper, visitor is a social maven, visitor prefers search over navigation) - and then allows any of that data to be shared back to your reporting platforms, and your other online functionality. This would be overkill for an organization that only uses basic segmentation.
- Transparent database -> table information. The columns for a specific table/view is listed out within the object browser, and the object browser is easy to navigate, for providing a clear picture of the tables/views, and what it's made up of. Including column data types, data length, and space usage. The object browser follows a collapsible format, breaking down databases by schema names, following with the table/view names, and then the columns specific to that table/view. This in my opinion, is easier than the object browser that Toad provides, where you have to select into a specific table in order to see it's contents and details, rather than being able to compare and have everything on one page.
- The output window is easy for further data extraction, one can simply copy the data out onto an email, into an excel spreadsheet, or other places as necessary. Data could also be exported from the output window, into either excel spreadsheets, or CSV format files, without the need to convert between one or the other. A special area is reserved for dragging column headers into, and what it does is it groups information by that column. This allows flexible user grouping, without the need of writing SQL queries to group on columns. Often times, in my experience, I find the need to group columns on a to-go basis, where I review the data output, and find the need to group on certain columns for further research and analysis, this option allow me to manipulate the result I currently have, without the need to rerun a query for grouping inclusions.
- Able to cascade query windows between different environments. I often need to cascade query windows between an UAT environment, a RESEARCH environment, and a PRODUCTION environment. To be able to cascade between them, and to reference queries and its results, is a huge plus, that I didn't find in some of the other products I've used. This allow me to reference information in between different environments, without the need to connect back and forth.
- AudienceStream allows me to expand on the data I'm already capturing about my visitors to the website, taking the data points and combining them to create and assign new definitions ("badges") to my visitors, which then allows me to enhance their experience with my company.
- The APIs within AudienceStream expand the reach of all the data we collect and the new definitions we create - we are no longer limited to only using this data on our site directly, instead we can pass this information effortlessly through to other tools to increase the relevance of our other marketing efforts, be they email, retargeting, paid search, or even our call center and retail stores through a connection to our CRM system.
- Audience Discovery within AudienceStream immediately provides insights to the folks on my website in real time, and also allows for historic views. I can slice the data in any way I choose to watch as visitors move through my site, gaining or losing badges as they perform various actions. I can then drill down into any group of visitors for the smallest of details, and use that to create new badges to use.
- The tools Tealium provides, such as AudienceStream Trace, allow me to feel 100% confident that the tagging and defining I'm doing is correct, and working as expected.
- Tealium's customer service is AMAZING - an entire team supports both your technical and strategic needs, and provides tools such as customer communities to help with learning.
- For one, I don't like how the parenthesis are automatically created as a set. Often times I only need to type one part of the parenthesis, but it creates a set of ( and ), forcing me to delete them because I didn't need the other half at where my cursor was. Same goes with any other sort of characters, such as ' '. I understand that it's suppose to be smart, but more often than not, it's causing more inconvenience and wasting more time, than actually saving time simply because it types an extra ) or ' for me.
- The error message and the log. I would think there probably is a log somewhere, but the fact that I've been using Aginity for close to a year now, and I still haven't found something similar to a log, is saying something about this feature. A log is like a standard thing nowadays, for running codes, to check against what has happened with the code, and for debugging what you have done wrong within the code. It also contains error messages, and help you troubleshoot with a clearer picture. The error message display current is very small and hard to read, sometimes the error message itself is not as easy to understand either. I use SAS on a daily basis as well, I feel like SAS has done a way better job on this issue, than Aginity.
- AudienceStream is a complicated tool. There are places where it would be nice to be able to do some simple tasks with out having to go through so many hoops.
- The reports showing how much data that has been shared with partners could use more features. The dashboards are cool, but details are better.
- Currently, the connectors only give details about what is going on with a tag if the tag is broken. It would be nice to see that detail for tags that are working as expected.
I use Aginity extensively for quick data research. Examples include figuring out what the table structure look like, how the data looks like, quick 100 record sample selection, creating a DDL with a list of the column names for further manipulation and analysis. However, for more complicated analysis, or processes that involve multiple steps, including the creation of temporary or permanent tables, I refer to SAS. Especially since SAS allows me to implement macro variables and programs, to automate and optimize repeatable processes.
Tealium Audience Stream is one of the only tools we looked at that can really work as promised, agonistically with any partner we wanted to use. There wasn't any other company that could really match what they can do.
Return on Investment
- I think Aginity really allows us to quickly dive into the data, by providing easy and quick access to our database. This allowed us to solve our business problems on an efficient and timely manner. But since it is not a critical component of our department, (a lot of people also use Toad for the same thing, since Netezza is retiring soon, and Aginity, which belongs to IBM, has had legal issues, and is no longer available to new hires of our department. It is sort of our legacy software.)
- Tealium AudienceStream has had a direct impact on our bottom line by allowing us to remarket to our users in a one to one manner in real time. We no longer have blanketed campaigns, but rather direct, custom programs for individual users.
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