deltaDNA review

deltadna

This post is part of a series of posts about analytics platforms that I would use and recommend using for game analytics. None of these posts were asked for or sponsored by any of the companies that own the platforms. My knowledge of the platforms comes from demos they made by my request or hands on experience working with them. My objective is to state what each platform offers and what makes it unique so that it helps game developers in the process of picking a platform if they choose to do so.

The first documentation I read about game analytics was from deltaDNA. It is therefore almost poetic that theirs is the first analytics platform I review. The product offer was simpler back in the day. A good infrastructure with a nicely featured front end and a number of consulting services, a trait I believe is rather unique to this day. That and segmentation.

If someone asked me to define deltaDNA in two words, those would be it: services and segmentation. Their services, in particular the consulting services, are offered from game developers for game developers. They are not “simply” specialised analysts, they actually know about gamedev. This is something that I hold in high regard since this is also my background.

Segmentation is part of deltaDNA’s DNA (pun totally intended!) way before it was cool. Today everyone speaks about targeted messaging but deltaDNA was spreading the word of actionable segmented player behaviour before any other platform if my memory serves me right. This vision that users are segmented beyond payers and non-payers is to this day wishful thinking to the majority of game developers and deltaDNA has vast experience with it, even their advertising mediation services takes segmentation and player behavior into account. If you’ve ever had a discussion about when and how many ads to show to users, then segmentation and raw data analysis would greatly help.

Want to know what you can do with it? Let’s dive in! 

Overview

deltaDNA is built on top of top of Vertica. It might not be interesting to know which technologies are used, but in the particular case of Vertica, it is! Zynga, Supercell, Spil Games and more use it. Tech-wise it is a robust, fast, battle tested and well known data warehouse. If nothing else, it should offer peace of mind but we will spend most of the time in the front-end, right?

The feature set can be described as a powerful all-rounder. You can take for granted all the standard KPIs. From vanity metrics like DAU (daily active users), Revenue, etc to the base analytics, like retention and monetisation metrics. The out of the box dashboards cover the basic needs and then some with funnels, benchmarking and custom dashboards.

That is fine for day-to-day operations, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also run A/B tests, have raw data access (direct access to your raw data for your BI tools) for the data scientists, and with deltaDNA’s engagement tools you can target player segments with push notifications, in-game messaging, game parameter adjustment and ad serving.

A platform for all personas

One of the things I find most difficult to deal with is that different business users often have very different business needs. I call these personas but you can call it roles or make up your own just because it’s fun! The breadth of features in deltaDNA’s platform are such that this post would become too big to go through each of them. And you can check it out on their website anyway.

I’d rather let you know how I see it being used by the different business personas. On one end of the use case spectrum we have executives and stakeholders who consult high level KPIs to support decision making. On the other end, we have analysts running A/B tests and querying the data directly. Somewhere in the middle, we have user acquisition specialists viewing the latest campaigns LTV (lifetime value) by channel, producers reviewing objectives, preparing targeted messages; and last but not least, designers tuning game parameters, building their own visualisations and manipulating data for deeper understanding of user behaviour.

If you picture a go-to central platform where all business and design teams go to for their day-to-day operations, you are picturing deltaDNA.

Conclusion

deltaDNA is the perfect all-rounder. It addresses all the major use cases required of an analytics platform, allowing a central location where all data and services are fully integrated. If you have a large number of the typical analytics use cases, it is likely that deltaDNA is the platform that will serve you the best.

And in case you missed it earlier, here’s a link www.deltadna.com.

A final word of thanks to the deltaDNA’s staff who showed me the ins and outs of the platform and answered all my questions.

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