Apigee goes after a new twist on big data – broad data


Palo Alto-based Apigee, the company responsible for handling API technology for some of the biggest players in the private sector including Walgreens, Bechtel, eBay, Pearson, and Gilt Groupe has launched a new twist on big data – Apigee Insights, a big data analytics platform that lets organizations gain new business insights using “broad” data generated in the app economy. CivSource spoke with Chet Kapoor, Apigee CEO and Anant Jhingran, Apigee vice president of products about the launch.

Apigee Insights is the industry’s first broad data platform that lets organizations connect and analyze potentially massive amounts of external data from APIs, apps, social, and mobile ecosystems, together with other data sources for context. According to Kapoor, while the product has immediate appeal for Apigee’s current private sector client base, they are already leveraging it for public sector big data issues such as gathering usage data from across agencies into a single place in order to gain better insights about how the public is using government information and services.

“Apps are becoming transformative to everything we do — dictating how we get information, shop and communicate with people — and even our cars. This has catapulted us into an undeniable ‘app economy,'” Kapoor says.

With the platform, organizations get visibility into customer, developer and partner behavior by integrating and analyzing all points of customer interaction — from both inside and outside the enterprise.

“The information an enterprise typically collects — point of sales, procurement, even website data — is not enough anymore,” said Jhingran. “In this new world of apps and APIs, the real value of data — the interaction with customers — has moved one or two tiers away from the enterprise. The more you know about the data in your app ecosystem, your ‘broad’ data, the better you’ll understand your business.”

Apigee Insights is a highly distributed platform that stitches together data from a customer’s API programs with data from internal systems and online data sources. It delivers in-depth analysis and performance with a multi-channel data aggregator, distributed processing engine, intelligent data storage, analytic accelerators and expert services. The platform is flexible enough to deal with the changing number, volume, size and sources of app economy data, and it enables customers to get near real-time feedback loop to test, experiment and roll out changes immediately.

“The best enterprises and organizations are shifting their focus onto what’s happening in the app economy and understanding what insight you can get out of it. To do that you have to have the tools to pull that information together. People will say that with API technology you lose control of your data, but API’s can also be a way to get that control back if you understand what people are doing with it and how they are using it,” Jhingran explains.

On the public sector side, healthcare and human services agencies are already using Apigee to deal with the massive volume of patient data flowing through their systems. The intelligence community has also started exploring ways they can gain better insights from their own monitoring with the platform.

“Big data is typically focused on core enterprise problems but we also have data sitting in lots of different apps, websites, devices, APIs, the concept of broad data is to realize that all of those areas have to be drawn together in order to really understand what’s happening,” he says.

Apigee Insights is specifically designed for the big, continuously changing and less structured broad data in the app economy. It can serve as a powerful stand-alone analytics solution or a complement to existing legacy data warehousing or ETL systems.

“Government is the largest consumer of technology, but that is also a two way street, enterprise customers also consume a huge amount of government data to make their business decisions. This is true of every customer in the app economy, they are both consumers and providers of data, we wanted to put a platform together that allows users to understand that interplay better,” says Kapoor.

So far, Apigee’s ideas seem to be working. The company has experienced 200% year-over-year growth as businesses increasingly expand their digital ecosystems into the app economy. Apigee’s fiscal quarter that ended January 31, 2013 set a record for the company in terms of both licenses and total revenues, coming on the heels of an unprecedented year of expansion and growth in 2012.

“In 2013, we look forward to aggressively broadening our API offerings to help customers drive ongoing business value from APIs and the apps built on them,” Kapoor said.