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Developing Brandwatch: The Product Highlights of 2014 Culture
It’s that time of year when everyone is planning for the year ahead, but it’s also a time for reflection on what has gone in the one just finished before we file it away. Yesterday we posted about how Brandwatch grew as a company in 2014, but I want to take a moment to look in more detail at what we developed and delivered to our users in 2014.
2014 was an interesting year for Brandwatch. We continued our massive growth, both in terms of staff numbers and clients, and with that experienced many exciting new challenges and opportunities.
Here are some of the key developments we made in the past year, as well as what’s coming in 2015.
In with the new
Last year we developed lots of features, from the small to the large.
Some highlights include:
- Demographic Insights – allowing you to better understand the audience talking about your brand
- Two new operators – to track @mentions and hashtags – to help you get even more refined data more easily
- Sample Queries – allowing you to collect just a percentage of the data when tracking large topics/brands
- Minute-by-minute charting and a new time picker to help you understand every moment of the conversation
Plus of course the brand new Brandwatch Academy, providing more help and support than ever before, in 3 languages, to help our users get the most from Brandwatch.
As well as that, we partnered up with Gnip to offer a new API that allows retrieval of full Twitter data alongside all the usual Brandwatch goodness. Gnip were bought by Twitter back in April and we’ve continued our close relationship with them, launching Brandwatch Hindsight to offer historical Twitter data as well as working on some other secret projects that we will tell you more about soon!
On top of all that, in December we announced our first acquisition, of influence mapping technology PeerIndex. We’re incredibly pleased to have the talented PI team joining us at Brandwatch, and will be revealing how we’re integrating their technology with ours in due course.
And on with the old
Phew! It was certainly a busy year for new features, but we also spent some of our time focusing on existing ones, within both Analytics and Vizia, to give them some love and make them even better. We made many improvements, from small changes such as tweaking menus and styling, to larger changes such as completely revamping the Query builder.
We also relaunched Vizia with a brand new, much easier to use admin interface as well as a new version of Brandwatch Analytics specifically for agencies.
Many of these developments, as well as our new features, are born out of user feedback and requests which, as I’ve explained before, we pay close attention to. For example, the new Analyst+ role and the time picker both came from user feedback.
Having almost doubled our engineering team in the last year we now have more developers working on our products than ever before, so whilst we’re developing new products and features, we are, and will continue to always work to improve our existing products too.
Scaling for growth
As our client numbers increase, so do the demands on our products.
The more (and bigger) clients we have, the more load the app has to take and the more data we are collecting, storing and analysing.
Therefore over the past year we’ve invested heavily in our infrastructure, hardware and security, tripling our spend, so that we scale appropriately. We’re still working on this (and will always be), to make sure our products stay quick and reliable to use as we grow, and so that we can continue providing the huge amounts of data we’re known for without any frustrating lags or downtime.
Behind-the-scenes work like this may not be particularly sexy or newsworthy, but it makes a huge difference to our users’ experience using our products, and nothing is more important to us than that.
Gearing up for 2015
2015 is going to be really big for Brandwatch. I can’t tell you why just yet (sorry!), but trust me, exciting things are coming.
It will likely come as no surprise that we’ll be looking to expand our offering, continuing to build on and harness the power of our data and the flexibility of our platform. There is lots in development, and many of our plans are about to come to fruition.
Thus, over the coming months you’ll start to see the results of a lot of hard work that has been going on during the past year, and we hope those announcements will excite you as much as they do us.
Finally, I want to say thank you to all of our clients for their continued support and feedback, we look forward to another great year with you all.
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