GoodData has been around since 2007, but it has seen especially explosive growth in the last year due to the fast adoption of cloud Business Intelligence. In a recent meeting, Roman Stanek, the company’s CEO, told me GoodData has more than 6,000 customers, and that many of these are household names. Given that he publicly stated a customer base of around 2,500 last year, it appears that the company’s growth is on an exponential curve. This momentum is attracting significant investment in the company, with funding of $25 million of capital for a Series C round in July of this year. The cumulative total is now more than $55 million invested in the business.
BI has been a laggard when it comes to migration to the cloud, but things are starting to change. In our latest research on Next-Generation Business Intelligence, we see that 25 percent of customers now prefer to have BI provided as a service – for good reason. BI in the cloud goes beyond the traditional cloud advantages of reducing capital expenditures, faster time-to-value, and scalability; BI in the cloud allows for greater flexibility in adding new data sources, experimenting with analytical models and sharing data across the value chain. In this context, GoodData appears to be in exactly the right place at the right time.
In building out its portfolio, GoodData’s BI software has followed CRM, sales and service as applications that have had the most success in the cloud. The company’s portfolio consists of three customized SaaS offers, called “Bashes” (short for business mash-ups): GoodSales, GoodMarketing and GoodSubscription. The company says it also has applications in operations, HR and finance, but they are not readily apparent on its website. Outside of the core customized offers, GoodData offers companies the ability to build their own BI applications. In all, the company runs more than 12,000 data warehouses. The GoodData platform itself runs in the cloud on Amazon Web Services.
GoodMarketing Bash focuses on things such marketing mix to see where marketing dollars are most effectively spent. This has traditionally been a challenge for marketers and is in many ways getting more difficult with the proliferation of promotional channels. Traditionally, attribution model integrations for things like website and email marketing have proved elusive for marketing organizations. By putting together in a common repository different data sources, including things like behavioral, attitudinal and profile data, companies can realize significant value from their BI investments. Right now most companies still pursue such models on an aggregate level, but I anticipate that, as the data enables a more granular approach, share-of-wallet and other individual-level analytics, including omnichannel attribution models, will become more pervasive. The GoodMarketing Bash application recently was the recipient of our 2012 Technology Innovation Award for its contribution to helping marketing organizations.
GoodSales Bash focuses on the purchase process funnel, consisting of brand awareness, consideration and purchase. This gives executives, marketers and sales representatives the ability to look at deals and see where to spend their time and energy. The company’s software can see how deals flow through the pipeline and where there is leakage or where deals are stalled. Metrics and benchmarks around sales win/loss provide information on what types of deals were lost and for what reasons. These types of analytics have traditionally been done separately and removed in time and space from actual sales activities. Embedding analytics directly into the sales process and allowing sales and management to work together creates a compelling time-to-value equation for companies.
GoodSubscription Bash focuses on subscription-based business. It looks at many of the classic loyalty metrics that drive these types of businesses, such as customer lifetime value, average revenue per customer, churn, engagement, acquisition costs and upsell opportunities. GoodSubscription is primarily targeted at content and online media companies.
It will be interesting to see what GoodData does with its new infusion of capital. I expect it will look to expand its footprint through a direct sales force at the enterprise level and will look to eat into some of the traditional enterprise BI pie. In order to do this, it will need to build a more vertically oriented portfolio of software that helps different departments in different industries define their metrics and their best analytical path to value.
Expansion on the partner side also seems to be an obvious course as companies look to OEM best-of-breed solutions in building their own offers. Our research shows that the market has yet to decide how next-generation BI will be delivered, with approximately even splits between those expecting it to go through a BI application (38%), end-user application (34%) and office productivity suite (36%). Anecdotally, we have recently seen an uptick in embedded BI arrangements, such as with Tableau working with Google’s Big Query and Cloudera’s Impala, and Workday embedding Datameer into its cloud application. As the land grab moves forward, GoodData seems to be well-positioned to form lucrative partnerships.
GoodData does have a couple of outstanding issues, but I believe the company will address them in the next year. Currently it has not explicated a well defined strategy with respect to mobile. To some degree this makes sense, and is similar to what we have seen with companies but must be addressed. Since there is no decisive direction for mobile in terms of HTML 5 versus native deployment, a bet on one or the other is often too large for small companies to make. The choice is often to stay back until the market matures a little and shows a clearer direction. This however could give up a certain amount of market share in the interim as companies opt for native deployments of technology like business intelligence.
The other issue outstanding is the aggregation and resale of data. As a prime mover in cloud BI and analytics, GoodData has the ability to pursue this angle, and as it adds customers, this tack will only get stronger. The company must approach this opportunity carefully, since this is a sensitive area and one in which the idea of trust comes to the forefront. The trust factor is the least discussed but most important factor in both cloud computing and social media. Sharing of data is predicated on a fundamental but tacit trust relationship with the customer, and the value of sharing data must be made clear. Many industries do benchmarking based on anonymous data, but their data sources must agree to share their data. GoodData will eventually explore this avenue, but likely with a measure of prudence.